LEROY, Mich. — Pine River Area Schools has canceled varsity football for the remainder of the 2021 season due to bullying.
Superintendent Matt Lukshaitis made the announcement in a letter on Thursday.
“As part of an investigation into allegations concerning bullying and harassment, it has become apparent that our current varsity football team has developed a toxic culture that we as a school district cannot accept,” writes Lukshaitis.
Lukshaitis says not all varsity players actively took part in bullying but many watched idly as bullying and hazing took place.
“Integrity means more to us than winning or losing,” Lukshaitis writes. “Hazing and bullying have no place on a football team or in a school district.”
Superintendent Lukshaitis says investigations are still underway but claims evidence of bullying among the varsity team is “overwhelming,” prompting the football season’s cancellation.
“It is our job now to own our mistakes and correct this environment,” writes Lukshaitis.
Read the full letter here.