By Michael Hicks
The Thompson R2-J School District has launched an internal investigation into the handling of a series of alleged hazing incidents at Berthoud High School, according to school Principal Leonard Sherman.
“I have asked the central office to do an internal investigation on how we handled the matter. That’s the name of the tune and the chips will fall where they fall,” Sherman said.
Sherman said he asked for the investigation after accusations were made by a father of one of the student’s involved in the incidents that this “kind of thing has happened before.”
Gene Alvine, the district athletic director, confirmed in a phone call Monday morning that an investigation is ongoing. Alvine said he hopes that the investigation will be completed this week.
Two Berthoud High School wrestlers — seniors Brandyn Wahlert and Saul Anderson — were suspended by Berthoud High School officials Dec. 15 for 10 and five days, respectively, for their part in the alleged incidents.
Wahlert, 18, was later charged by the Berthoud Police Department with four counts of third-degree assault on four high school students on school property. All of the alleged victims are under the age of 18. Wahlert is scheduled to appear in court at the Fort Collins Justice Center on March 5 at 9:30 a.m. Anderson, who returned to school after the winter break, quit the team. He has not been charged in the case.
According to the police report on the case, this is not the first time Wahlert has faced assault allegations. Jana Cline, a guidance counselor at Berthoud High School, told police officials she was concerned because Wahlert has been previously accused of sexual assault on a fellow student. Cline said, according to the report, the alleged victim is experiencing psychological issues. Cline declined further comments in a phone call Friday evening, citing counselor-student confidentiality. Wahlert has not been charged for the previous allegations.
No further action is expected to be taken by the school.