Falcon High School — the football program that is under investigation by law enforcement after a potential hazing incident — announced Friday that District 49 has completed its investigation into the incident, and that the school has appointed a new interim head coach.
In an email sent to parents Friday afternoon, Falcon Principal Darryl Bonds detailed the next steps for the school after events that caused it to suspend the team earlier this week. An investigation by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office is ongoing.
The school also placed the team's coaches on administrative leave upon learning that multiple coaches knew of hazing and harassment activities occurring, according to an email sent to parents this week by Bonds.
Coach Josh Flores has been named the team's new head coach. He will take over after Falcon forfeits its game to Mesa Ridge on Saturday. The team was 2-2 heading into that contest. The Falcons were previously coached by Darrel Gorham, who was in his second year with the team.
As for students found responsible for a locker room incident that might have been sexual in nature, according to emails obtained by The Gazette, they will be set on a "restorative" path.
"Some students have received appropriate consequences for misconduct and are proceeding through our restorative process," Bonds said via email.
"While we will not discuss any of those cases specifically, our restorative approach is that students who accept consequences and seek restitution should rejoin the larger community in good standing. That path will look different for each individual and may not include reinstatement to the team or leadership roles."
The students behind this incident could still face legal trouble. Jacqueline Reed, spokeswoman with the Sheriff's Office, said Friday that there is still an investigation into whether any of the actions of the students were criminal in nature.
Bonds said he and Flores will meet with the team on Monday to "give our student-athletes definite closure to these incidents while also resetting expectations for the rest of the season."
Members of the team and their parents will be asked to recommit to the behavioral expectations in the school's athletic handbook, the email said.
One such parent is Butch Swann, who has a son on the football team. Swann is happy the team will be moving forward.
"I’m hoping [the email] means Monday afternoon, we’re back on the practice field and next weekend, we can get back to competing," he said.
Between this incident and the COVID-19 pandemic, Swann is concerned about the effect more time away from football could have on his son.
"He needs the practice, he needs the games, he needs the stuff that football gives you to become what he is, a 6'7", 205-pound freshman," he said. "If he doesn’t get that this year — he didn’t get it last year for sure because of COVID — how’s it gonna affect him 10th grade, 11th grade, 12th grade trying to maybe get a football scholarship somewhere?"
Swann, however, says he does not condone sexual misconduct.
“I never condone any kind of sexual assault," Swann said. "It’s never allowed anywhere — school, private life, office. Whatever you want to say, I don’t condone it."