Westchester County Police arrested three teenagers Monday for allegedly hazing students to such a degree that one victim had to seek treatment at a hospital for his injuries, authorities said.
The teens arrested are juniors at Rye High School, according to police. The victims are eighth-graders who will become freshmen at the high school in the fall.
According to police, the high school students forced a group of eighth-grade boys into a car in front of Rye Public Library Friday night and drove them to the Marshlands Conservancy.
There, the high school juniors allegedly "paddled" two victims several times with a large piece of lumber, causing bruising and other injuries to their buttocks and legs.
One of the boys sought treatment at a local hospital for his injuries.
The three students arrested are 16, 17 and 17 years old. Each was charged with second-degree assault, first-degree hazing and second-degree unlawful imprisonment.
They were arraigned in Rye City Court Monday night and released.
A Rye High School sophomore not involved in the incident said it was a tradition at the school to "haze" incoming freshmen.
"They just rough them up, take them to a private area where no one can see them," said Alex Raynor. "The juniors just think it's part of a tradition, doing what they do."
The schools superintendent, Dr. Edward Shine, said in a letter to parents the three juniors will face "serious disciplinary consequences" at the school.
"Some have suggested that these alleged acts are part of an annual 'tradition' at Rye High School," said Shine. "Let me be clear: just because a small handful of students choose to believe that this is the case, does not make it a fact."
"Our school district and our educators put a premium on student safety, respect, and dignity, and work diligently each day to inspire these traits in our students," he said.
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