VISTA, Calif. (KSWB) — A Southern California high school has forfeited their football games scheduled for this week amid an assault investigation, it was announced Thursday.
The investigation stems from an incident that occurred inside the Vista High varsity football locker room on August 31 where cellphone video showed a 14-year-old student being assaulted.
Vista High has forfeited the freshman, junior varsity and varsity football games scheduled for this week against Poway High and the games will not be rescheduled, Poway High football head coach Kyle Williams said.
After-school activities were also canceled for the rest of the week, with the district saying the assault investigation is causing disruptions.
Some students feel it is the right thing to do while others don’t agree with the decision.
“I hope the whole season is canceled,” student Johana Farias said.
“Why mess it up for the kids who had absolutely nothing to do with it?” questioned freshman football player Kaleb Zavala.
Rena Marrocco, who is a community member running for school board, says she understands both sides of the issue.
“On the one hand it’s kind of unfair to penalize the entire team and school for the actions of the few, but on the other hand, it does send a message that at least they are hearing that much,” Marrocco said.
Parents, students and community members rallied Wednesday outside of Vista High, demanding justice and accountability against the players suspected of being involved in an attack that was caught on video and spread on social media.
An online petition, calling for suspension or expulsion for the students involved has gathered over 9,000 signatures.
The Vista varsity head football coach has since been placed on leave until the investigation is complete, according to Vista Unified School District. The freshman football coach has been let go and Nexstar’s KSWB was told the boys in the video have all been taken off the team pending the investigation.
The Vista Unified School District and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department are conducting investigations into the incident.
KSWB’s Alani Letang contributed to this story.