North Smithfield superintendent speaks publicly about hazing allegations

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WLNE) — North Smithfield Superintendent Michael St. Jean addressed the public for the first time Thursday about allegations of hazing against the high school’s football team.

He explained at the school committee meeting that the team’s preseason activities have been suspended temporarily.

Investigations are ongoing by the Department of Children, Youth and Families, attorney general, North Smithfield Police Department, and North Smithfield School Department.

Players from the team have been suspended from athletic activities of any kind until investigations are complete.

“I think at their level it is abusive,” said resident Evander Gomes. ” I don’t think anyone should be forced to do anything against their will just to join an activity. It should just be for fun. If they want to sign up for it, do it. But, say they end up not liking it. They just did all of this for nothing.”

“It kind of blew me away,” said a mother of a 2021 North Smithfield High graduate. “It’s such a little community, such a good community. I went to North Smithfield too thirty years ago. I mean, I went to that school. I grew up in North Smithfield. So yeah, I was very surprised.”

“I’m so glad he’s out of there. I am just so glad it’s over with. He’s 18 and done with school, and I don’t have to worry about him being in that school system with anything like this happening — it’s just not cool,” She concluded.

St. Jean explained that no Mount Saint Charles students were involved in the incident, as the school and North Smithfield share a co-op football team.

St. Jean urged community members who have any information to contact North Smithfield police at 401-762-1212 or DCYF at 401-487-3834 if they have any information about the allegations.

Categories: News, Rhode Island