Wolcott’s Public Schools on Monday released a terse open letter from Superintendent of Schools Tony Gaspar to students, parents and coaches of the Wolcott High School football team, which demanded the program hold itself to account for alleged damage done to St. Paul Catholic High School’s locker room on Oct. 26, or forfeit this week’s home game vs. Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech on Friday.
The Waterbury Republican American on Nov. 1, confirmed through Gasper that players knocked in lockers and punched holes through walls at St. Paul.
Gasper’s letter, which was released publicly via the Wolcott Public School’s Twitter account and posted on Google Drive, said the incident “brought shame to the WHHS football program, the school, Board of Education, and the community as a whole.”
— WolcottPublicSchools (@WolcottLearns) November 5, 2018
“Perhaps an even bigger embarrassment has been the ensuing week since the incident and the unwillingness by the majority of the students at fault to step forward and take responsibility for their own actions,” it continued.
“Also disheartening is the coaching staff’s lack of knowledge of the incident and/or their willingness to share this with the school leadership.”
Wolcott, coached by Matt Hove, now in his second year, is 6-2 and was ranked No. 6 and well within playoff range in the Class M standings.
Gasper laid out his requirements for the football team in bullet points:
He called for students involved in the alleged incident to come forward and meet with Wolcott High School Principal Walter Drewry and explain how the damage occurred, no later than 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7.
He said each student would be responsible for making restitution for the damage, that each student involved would be suspended from play for the game, that they would each write “a sincere letter of apology to the St. Paul leadership.”
Finally, he said the “full team will perform community service arranged by the coaches and school administration between now and Thanksgiving.”
Previously, Gasper acknowledged and said he appreciated a letter of apology written by the team to St. Paul, which was published in the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury on Saturday, Nov. 3. In it, a team captain stated it was a halftime ritual that got out of hand.
However, Gasper called it “extremely disheartening” that the letter suggested the students knew who was involved, but were not coming forward to identify themselves or their teammates. “Students have been given multiple opportunities to do so by the coaching staff and school administration, but most have not,” Gasper wrote. “This, then, is blatant defiance and insubordination of the school administration’s authority.”
You can read the full letter, below: