TORRINGTON, Conn. (AP) _ Online taunting in a statutory rape case involving Torrington High School football players has prompted city officials to draft new social media rules for student athletes.
High school sports team members would face a two-week suspension for a first-time violation of the policies and a season-long suspension for a second violation, the Register Citizen reported .
Students would be punished for posting belittling or mean-spirited comments online or using derogatory language to describe someone’s race, gender or sexual orientation. They also would face discipline for posting about using drugs or alcohol. Existing school and state bullying rules apply to them as well.
Officials reviewed school policies after two 18-year-old high school football players were charged in February with sexually assaulting two 13-year-old girls, who were called derogatory names on Twitter after the arrests by supporters of the players.
One of the players, Edgar Gonzalez, has pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault and awaits sentencing. The other player, Joan Toribio, has pleaded not guilty and his case is pending.
Gonzalez was the football team’s most valuable player last year he was allowed to play last season despite facing a robbery charge that is also pending.
Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Kloczko said after the girls were disparaged online that the school system will not tolerate students taunting other students or making inappropriate comments about school staff members on social media. She said students would face discipline, including possible suspension or expulsion.
Information from: The Register Citizen, http://www.registercitizen.com
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)