November 16, 2021
WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office has assumed sole responsibility for conducting separate criminal investigations stemming from allegations that acts of hazing occurred within the Wall Township High School football program and unrelated allegations that one or more sexual assaults involving juveniles took place off campus, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Tuesday.
Members of the Wall Township Police Department had been assisting during the early stages of these investigations, yet out of an abundance of caution, and in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety and to protect the integrity of the investigations, the Department has since been walled off from participating further.
Multiple MCPO assistant prosecutors and detectives have been assigned to manage the continuing investigations. The information gathered as a result will continue to be reviewed.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office reiterates that while these are serious allegations, juvenile records are strictly confidential under state law, so at this time, no additional specific information about these investigations can be released. Likewise, Superior Court proceedings involving juvenile defendants, meaning defendants under the age of 18, are closed to the public, and the identities of such defendants are kept confidential.
The Prosecutor’s Office intends to issue statements regarding the findings of its investigations, keeping in accordance with the strict confidentiality requirements of juvenile matters. These statements will constitute the only definitive factual accounts of the investigations, made at the appropriate times, and the Prosecutor’s Office strongly urges against the spread of misinformation and rumor, both online and otherwise.
“As these investigations unfold, we remain fully aware of the intense focus and unique pressure a national media spotlight has placed on the Wall Township High School community, and are sensitive to safeguarding the mental health and general well-being of students while simultaneously serving the interests of justice,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said. “We are conducting these investigations with the utmost diligence, dedicating every necessary resource in order to uncover the entire truth, and this process will be thorough, fair, and unbiased from beginning to end.”
While these investigations are still ongoing, anyone with any information about these matters, including those in possession of any relevant video recordings, is urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Detective Jose Rodriguez at (732) 431-7160, Ext. 7172. Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about this or any crime can submit a tip to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling their confidential telephone tip-line at 1-800-671-4400; by downloading and using the free P3 Tips mobile app (available on iOS and Android – https://www.p3tips.com/1182); or by going to the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com
November 16, 2021
Dear Wall Township Public Schools Community:
The decision has been made to end the football season and not play the Thanksgiving Day game. We acknowledge that this is difficult news for many in our community. Please be assured that the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County is working closely with the Wall High School counseling staff supporting students. If you know of a student that is in need of support please do not hesitate in reaching out to 732-556-2063. In addition, please see the attached document for outside support resources.
Tracy R. Handerhan, D. Litt.
Superintendent of Schools
November 12, 2021
During these most difficult days, please be assured that we are first and foremost committed to our students’ physical and mental well-being. Your children are our top priority and we are steadfast in our mission to work together to ensure their safety and to provide the social, emotional and academic experiences they deserve. The administration, faculty, staff and school crisis team remain deeply committed to supporting our students as they cope with recent events. District counselors have been providing support services for our students and will continue to do so.
It is not unusual for adolescents to feel anxious, sad, fearful, angry or vulnerable as a result of traumatic events. This is compounded by the fact that so many rumors are circulating online and in the media. In response, Wall High School has partnered with the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County (MHA of MC). A team from the MHA of MC will begin working with the Wall High School students and staff on Monday. The goals of this partnership are (1) to assist the Wall High School community with immediate mental health and wellness needs of students and staff during this difficult time and (2) to develop a long-term student wellness strategy that will serve as a foundation to strengthen the Wall High School community moving forward. Attached you will find a document prepared by the MHA of MC specifically for the Wall Township school community. Additionally, attached to this correspondence is a compilation of counseling resources should you or someone you know be in need of these services.
The last two weeks have been extremely difficult for our school community. We recognize this. Once again, we are committed to supporting you and your children through these difficult times.
Ms. Rosaleen Sirchio
Dr. Tracy Handerhan
Superintendent of Schools