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Mothers sue Glen Rock Board of Education in wrestlers ‘tea-bagging’ incident

Photo Credit: Courtesy

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An alleged incident of “tea-bagging” by two Glen Rock High School wrestlers against a pair of 11-year-olds has sparked a lawsuit against the borough Board of Education by the mothers of the alleged victims.

Although the lawsuit doesn’t go into detail, district sources told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time that two middle-schoolers were subjected to a domination tactic used by schoolyard bullies and inspired by a popular video game.

Playing off what for some is an accepted sexual position, the darker practice involves at least one person holding the target down while another rubs his crotch into his or her face.

The parents’ suit, filed in Superior Court in Hackensack, contends that the boys – who were members of the middle school wrestling team at the time – suffered “severe and permanent injuries,” including “permanent and irreparable post[-]traumatic stress disorder and emotional harm requiring ongoing counseling,” as a result of what it alleges was the district’s negligence.

What wasn’t publicly explained at the time was why the then-freshmen wrestlers were left unsupervised with the much younger boys for what CLIFFVIEW PILOT was told was 20 minutes during a joint practice at the middle school on Jan. 24, 2012.

Tea-bagging became part of mainstream culture, in part, because of the 1998 John Waters film “Pecker” and after conversations about the practice among characters during an episode of “Sex and the City.”

Over the past several years, however, youngsters throughout the country have been suspended, placed in detention or expelled for incidents that mimic the act — most of them based on a fully-outfitted soldier’s hostile stamp of final humiliation over a slain enemy in Bungie’s “Halo” series of shooter video games ( image, above ).

When the behavior is considered flagant, as in Glen Rock, it is treated by school administrators and police as the juvenile equivalent of a felony.

As one school official said, it wasn’t akin to stuffing a kid into a trash can, or pulling such juvenile pranks as wedgies. To them, the official said, it is sexual harassment at the very least and assault in the extreme, given the defenseless of the victims and the nature of the act.

Local police issued a brief statement when the incident occurred, saying that juvenile delinquency complaints that were signed against the two freshmen would be the adult equivalent of aggravated sexual contact and lewdness offenses if they were adults.

Both boys were brought to Family Court in Hackensack to answer the complaints. Such matters aren’t made public, however, because of their ages. Unlike adult courts, the overriding goal in the juvenile justice system is to keep youngsters from growing into criminals – in part, by not stigmatizing them through public disclosure of their deeds.

In their 10-point lawsuit, dated Aug. 26, the mothers are seeking damages, attorney’s fees, the cost of suing and “such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.”

IMAGE: Courtesy Bungie.net

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