RYE, N.Y. Rye Middle School students interviewed Tuesday said hazing by high school students was a tradition in Rye.
Three Rye High School juniors Max Meyerson, 16, Sean Pinson, 17, and Tristan Scragg, 17 were arraigned Monday on felony assault charges and misdemeanors charging them with hazing and unlawful imprisonment.
Following an investigation by Westchester County and City of Rye police, the three were accused of taking several freshmen to the Marshlands Conservancy and using a wooden paddle on two victims several times, causing one to go to a hospital.
Less than 24 hours after the arraignment, a group of Rye Middle School students spoke about hazing in Rye schools.
"It's a tradition, but it wasn't supposed to go so far," Rye Middle School eighth-grader Ali Cardino said. "It's just supposed to be one smack and you're done. It's supposed to be a prank."
Cardino, whose sister is a junior at the high school, said that although there are rumors of girls taking part in the ritual, nothing ever comes of it.
Seventh-grader Will Junior confirmed Cardino's statement that it's a Rye tradition.
"It's a tradition, but it's crazy," Junior said. "I don't want to get paddled."
Rye Middle School eighth-grader James Cerena added that he doesn't agree with "Freshman Friday" and that it scares a lot of people.
Rye Schools Superintendent Edward Shine said in a statement released Monday evening that he and the rest of the district were "disturbed by the allegations" and that the acts are not part of an annual tradition.
"Some have suggested that these alleged acts are part of an annual 'tradition' at Rye High School. Let me be clear: just because a small handful of students choose to believe that this is the case, does not make it a fact," Shine said.
In a follow-up statement Shine said that federal law prevents district officials from sharing any information on the incident.
"We will do all we can to protect the health and welfare of all the students at Rye Middle School and Rye High School and we appreciate your continued patience and understanding during this time," Shine said.
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