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Western Hills and Dater football program on pause over alleged hazing incident

Head coach Armand Tatum relieved of duties
Posted at 5:54 PM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-03 07:24:29-04

CINCINNATI — The Western Hills and Dater high school football program is being put on pause due to an alleged hazing incident, a news release from principals Jasmine Madison and Dr. Carlos Blair said Thursday night.

The two schools operate as one athletic program.

Head football coach Armand Tatum has been relieved of his responsibilities with the team, according to Cincinnati Public Schools. Tatum was a guest on WCPO's High School Insider Podcast August 6. He declined comment on Thursday night.

Krista Boyle, Chief Communications and Engagement Officer for Cincinnati Public Schools, said the Western Hills football program is on pause and the name of a new coach will be able to be shared once the program resumes.

All practices and games are canceled pending the outcome of an investigation into the event.

Western Hills (1-1) was scheduled to play host to Goshen (0-2) Friday night. Instead, Goshen will play at Greenfield McClain (1-0) at 10 a.m. Saturday, according to Goshen coach Greg Miller.

It is not known whether Western Hills will play host to Gamble Montessori Sept. 10.

Administrators are currently trying to determine appropriate disciplinary actions for students involved in the hazing incident as well as those responsible for recording and disseminating video.

The video shows the victim being held down as other boys pull off some of his clothes.

The student who was the target of the hazing incident is receiving emotional and mental health counseling.

The Western Hills High School football team defeated visiting Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy 19-0 Aug. 20 as the Mustangs won their first season opener since 2010. Deer Park defeated visiting Western Hills 28-8 Aug. 27.

Tatum, a former Hughes and Walnut Hills assistant coach, was named the Western Hills head coach in June 2016.

NaTisha Bonner, the parent of a Western Hills student, said she found out about the video from her son.

"The child was trying to break free," she said, describing what her son told her he saw on the video. "He says there were no sound, but you can definitely see that the other people were holding this person down and this person was actively trying to break free and they were actively trying to take his clothes off."

Bonner said even though her son has no involvement with the incident, incidents like this are a cause for concern.

"You don't send your kids to school or after school activities to go through that especially when they're pursing something they're passionate about," she said.