President Of Warren De La Salle High School Put On Leave Amid Hazing Scandal

WWJ News
March 05, 2020 - 8:44 am

photo: WWJ/Charlie Langton

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WARREN (WWJ) - The president of Warren De La Salle Collegiate High School has been placed on administrative leave amid a hazing scandal with the football team. 

Administrators confirmed Thursday morning that President John Knight has been put on paid leave following weeks of discussions about the future of the school, and months after a hazing investigation was launched. 

"As we look towards a leadership transition, we will be working with a national search firm to find a permanent replacement by August 3," the Board Of Trustees said in a statement. "While transitions are difficult, they also allow organizational boards opportunities to consider new direction and a range of strategic options."

Through his attorney, Knight says he has a perfectly clean record and he did report the hazing incident. Yet he says he received no formal explanation from the board as to why he was removed.

Knight has been president of the school since 2015, and many parents have voiced their displeasure with the way he handled the hazing investigation. Parents have also expressed concerns about other issues such as staff turnover, loss of donations and future enrollment.

Assault charges have been filed against seven students who were members of the school's varsity football team, which had its season cut short on the eve of the MHSAA state playoffs back in October when the allegations came to light.

An investigation by Warren police determined that football players used broomsticks in a sexual manner to taunt other players in the locker room on multiple occasions. Police said the incidents did not involve penetration.

If convicted, each defendant will face up to 93 days in jail, a fine up to $500, or both; plus up to two years probation and restitution.

The case is being handled by the St. Clair County Prosecutor's Office due to a potential conflict of interest in Macomb County.