COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) - Coopersville schools fought the release of settlement detailsbetween the district and two hazing victims for nearly one year,but on Wednesday, they came out following a lawsuit by The Grand Rapids Press.
The mother of one of the victims told 24 Hour News 8 the moneyher family received covered their legal costs but not muchelse.
Her son wanted to pursue the case further, but she saw what itwas doing to him and "sometimes you have to step up and be aparent," she said.
Another concern was that the name of her son may be released ifthe lawsuit went any further, the mother said.
Her son was hazed on the Coopersville junior varsity baseballteam in 2007. The money the victims received was a result of amediation where the district admitted no wrongdoing.
School board officials declined to comment on camera or on thephone, but in a written statement, school board president LoriRander said: "We remain committed to making sure that everyoneunderstands that hazing is not tolerated, and we have takenaggressive steps to educate our student body and faculty about thedestructive nature of any type of bullying, including hazing."
Those aggressive steps include a bullying and hazing policy,which outlines requirements such as increased supervision in lockerrooms and increased staff awareness of student actions.
"I think Coopersville has been very proactive in what's beenhappening at their school," said Aaron Haight, the assistantdirector of student life at Grand Valley State University. Haightspoke with Coopersville students a few months after the originalhazing incidents.
"I think you have to have a policy but you also need to bevigilant and looking and you need to hold people accountable forviolations of that policy," Haight said.
That's something the mother of the victim agrees needs tohappen. She knows what happened to her son when he was hazed, shesaid.
"He's a completely changed individual -- we all are," the mothertold 24 Hour News 8.
All individuals named in the original lawsuits were dismissedwithout making payments to the victims.
The money for the two victims was paid by the school district'sinsurance company, and school officials stressed the $150,000 wasnot money that could have been spent on other programs orservices.
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