HSE Board of Trustees to allow student at center of harassment allegations to compete

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FISHERS, Ind. (WTHR) — The Board of Trustees for Hamilton Southeastern Schools is allowing a male student accused of sexually harassing classmates to compete in the IHSAA Indiana State Finals swim meet.

The decision was made on an appeal in a Title IX investigation that found the swimmer had sent inappropriate text messages to female classmates.

He had previously been suspended from school and removed from the swim team.

In a letter sent January 28 to parents, Dr. Erica Buchanan-Rivera, HSE’s Title IX coordinator wrote, "the swim environment cannot be altered in a way to mitigate the hostile environment or potential for future harassment.” She concluded, “As a result of the hostile environment and fear exhibited by female swimmers, [the male student] will not be allowed to swim or compete with the Fishers High School swim team."

On February 15, the superintendent sent a letter to parents informing them he had reviewed an appeal submitted by the male swimmer and determined the swim environment could be altered to allow the student to compete “when he is not competing with the girl’s team and is able to follow the non-contact directive” that the school had imposed to limit interaction between the swimmer and his female teammates. Because the girl’s swim team had already completed its sectional and state tournaments, the superintendent decided he would no longer prohibit the boy from competition.

In a decision announced by the Board of Trustees Thursday afternoon, board member affirmed the investigation’s findings that female swimmers had been subjected to sexual harassment, and also affirmed the superintendent’s decision that the male swimmer should now be allowed to compete since the girl's season is over.

The male swimmer is to continue to have no contact with the female swimmers.

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