Dozens of Napa High students protest expulsion of football players

Byby Cornell Barnard KGO logo
Friday, March 17, 2017
Parents protest expulsion of football players in Napa
Angry parents are protesting the expulsion of two high school football players after investigation into hazing at Napa High School.

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- About 100 students at Napa High School walked out of class and gathered in front of school district headquarters next-door to send a message.

"They are taking kids' lives away and they are taking their family away and it's just because the district is angry," said Anton Venter, Napa High School student.

The walkout was a protest to the recent resignation of the head football coach and other coaches this week in the wake of a hazing incident last November involving 14 members of the JV football team. Players are accused of a restraining a clothed freshman player as they touched him inappropriately. Thursday night, the school board announced two more students have been expelled in the wake of the scandal.

RELATED: Board votes to expel 2 Napa High School football players in hazing scandal

"I don't know which one of my friends aren't coming back, but I do know is a lot of kids who are being tried are innocent," said Venter.

"You support the walk out?" asked ABC7's Cornell Barnard.

"I support the right for the kids to be able to walk out and show their support for their coaches and what they believe in, absolutely," said Luis Perezdeleon, parent.

RELATED: Police investigate alleged assaults involving Napa football team

The Napa district attorney is investigating, deciding whether or not to charge students and a coach with felonies. Many parents say the investigation has gone too far.

"They're treating these kids like they're criminals before they have been tried. We are just standing up for the kids and the repercussions are enormous," said Sarie Venter, parent.

A spokesperson said the students do have the right to free speech, but they do need to be in class and today will treated as an unexcused absence.