Officials tight-lipped on Sharyland Pioneer hazing incident

A hazing incident last semester involving members of the Sharyland Pioneer High School swim team — which warranted a police investigation into allegations of conduct authorities described as “inappropriate” — prompted a response from the Sharyland school district Tuesday.

“The District was recently made aware of an incident that took place off campus during the Fall 2019 Semester,” Sharyland ISD Superintendent Dr. Maria M. Vidaurri wrote in a statement. “Upon learning of the incident, an internal investigation was conducted, and the appropriate local authorities were immediately notified.”

The statement was issued in response to The Monitor’s requests to confirm a hazing incident multiple sources reported to the newspaper Tuesday.

Vidaurri did not provide additional details in the release, citing the nature of the incident and the involvement of students.

“… The District is not at liberty to release any additional information at this time. Please be assured that the District takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and has addressed this matter with great care and concern for all involved,” she stated.

People took to social media Monday and Tuesday and speculated on the nature of the allegations, attracting hundreds of reactions.

Mission Police Department spokesman Art Flores confirmed police involvement Tuesday, adding that the hazing incident in question was reported in Corpus Christi.

According to Flores, Mission police officers were escorting members of the Pioneer swim team to a meet when the incident occurred, saying it happened sometime in November.

A post on Sharyland ISD’s Facebook page Nov. 23 congratulated the Pioneer boys swim team on their second place finish in the Corpus Christi ISD Gobbler Games.

Flores characterized the event as “inappropriate” hazing, but declined to elaborate on the investigation or the nature of the allegations.

Flores said a local Corpus Christi law enforcement agency was responsible for investigating the incident and that Mission police assisted in a limited capacity.

Board trustees Hector M. Rivera and Julio Cerda referred requests for comment Tuesday to Vidaurri. All other trustees on the board could not be reached or did not return requests for comment.

A special meeting of the Sharyland school board is scheduled at the John H. Shary Elementary library at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

mwilson@themonitor.com