Viera High football coach relieved of duties, football activities suspended amid hazing investigation

‘Hazing, bullying, and intimidation have no place in Brevard Public Schools,’ superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell said

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The head coach of the Viera High School football team has been relieved of his duties and all varsity and junior varsity team activities have been suspended amid a “hazing incident” investigation, Brevard County Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell said in a statement on Sunday.

“Hazing, bullying, and intimidation have no place in Brevard Public Schools. We have spent the past several days investigating the hazing incident involving members of the Viera High football team. Today, we have made the decision to suspend all Viera High football team activities (varsity and junior varsity) until further notice and we have relieved the varsity head coach of his duties until further notice.” the statement read in part.

Coach Shane Staples was suspended as coach and Dr. Rendell said a decision on the future of the football season and player suspensions will be made soon.

Staples is still employed at the school as a physical education teacher.

He also added that district security, law enforcement and the district are still collecting information.

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Brevard schools also sent a message to Viera High School parents on Saturday that read:

“I wish the victories at the kickoff classic weren’t overshadowed by the speculation currently circulating within our school community. As I’ve said to you before, I believe in transparency with my parents and community but there are times when the information I can give is limited. Anytime students are involved, I must adhere to FERPA, (Federal Educational Right to Privacy Act), when speaking about an incident. This prohibits me from giving names, details, and outcomes of disciplinary action. I can tell you that there was an incident this week involving multiple students. Please rest assured that I am investigating the situation and following the discipline policy set forth by Brevard Public Schools. I know that we are all on the same page about keeping every student safe on and off campus and appreciate your continued support.”

Brevard Public Schools

Jennifer Jenkins, Brevard school board member, posted a statement on social media saying that she immediately contacted the superintendent after hearing about “the incident at Viera HS.”

Jenkins statement read in part, “There is no scenario in my mind where I feel it is appropriate this program continues this school year. Hazing should never and will never be tolerated. This message needs to be loud and clear to all athletes districtwide.”

Dr. Rendell said that all Viera High football players will now be required to take part in an anti-hazing educational program before “there is a possibility that the football program could be reinstated.”

This is a developing story. Check back with News 6 for the latest updates.

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About the Author:

Jacob joined in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.