Florida High School Baseball Players Sue District Over Alleged Harassment

Two former Florida high school baseball players allege that they weathered racial slurs, bullying, harassment, hazing, and “sexual depravity” from their fellow teammates while their coaches did nothing to stop it, according to a new lawsuit. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the families of Jay King, 18, and Judah Norwood, 17, who played ball for East Lake High School, filed the negligence suit last week in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court. “I’m not a liar,” King recently told the Pinellas County School Board, which is also named in the suit. “Everything I said is true. Hazing, sexual harassment and bullying did occur.” King and Norwood alleged that the harassment first began before the start of the 2017-18 baseball season after they refused to participate in a “hazing ritual” called the “Oreo Run,” where the athletes race each other with a cookie between their buttocks. “The school system is under a duty to supervise,” Todd Hoover, the attorney representing the families, was quoted as saying in the report. “There was a lack of adequate supervision.” School district spokesperson Lisa Wolf told the newspaper both an internal and external investigation “found there was no negligence on the part of our staff.” Wolf reportedly declined to answer a question on whether the district had looked into allegations of racial and sexual harassment.