Police investigate accusations of bullying toward male cheerleader at a South Bay high school

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- Santa Clara Police Department (SCPD) officers and investigators were called to Wilcox High School on Monday afternoon.

SCPD Captain Wahid Kazem said the department was notified of an investigation involving students at the high school.

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Many questions still remain surrounding what exactly happened under Friday night lights.

However, a growing Change.org petition claims members of the Wilcox varsity football team yelled homophobic slurs at a male cheerleader during a home game on Friday night.

By Monday afternoon, the school district reached out to Santa Clara Police.

"Obviously the details of the investigation are going to direct us one way or the other," Captain Kazem said. "Hate crime is a very specific intent crime. So, if the facts are there, then our investigators will definitely be looking at those types of charges."

The Santa Clara Unified School District declined an on-camera interview request, but offered ABC7 News the following official statement:

"We have been made aware of the allegations and have requested the support of the Santa Clara Police Department to conduct an independent investigation of the facts. At Santa Clara Unified School District, we proactively work to create an environment that embraces diversity and we do not tolerate harassment or bullying of any kind."

LGBTQ community allies said that what happens next within the Wilcox High School community is pivotal.

"In moments like this, we can all just take a step back and just realize maybe, how can this be a growing experience? A learning experience," Stanley Gaeta said.

Gaeta is the drop-in center coordinator at The LGBTQ Youth Space in San Jose.

Wilcox HS parents told ABC7 News, the allegations are impacting students on both sides. Off-camera, many spoke in support of the football program and said they're convinced the claims are untrue.

The mother of the male cheerleader tells me her 14-year-old high school freshman was back at school on Monday, under security watch.

She said the family is waiting to see what actions the school takes.

For now, SCPD said it's gathering information and interviewing witnesses and victims.

Captain Kazem added, "If there was no crime committed, it would be something that we would allow the district to handle administratively."

ABC7 News reached out to Wilcox HS Principal Kristin Gonzalez who directed us to the SCUSD, after writing, "I am concentrating my day on supporting my students."

Kazem said there is currently no timeline for the investigation.
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