Yorktown Investigates Possible Harassment Incident

Yorktown High School Credits: File Photo

Editor's Note: Two days after this article was posted, Somers Superintendent Dr. Raymond Blanch issued a clarifying statement, saying he did not intend to implicate the entire Yorktown boys lacrosse team. Yorktown Superintendent Dr. Ralph Napolitano added that there is "no evidence" of any harassing or intimidating behavior. View the updated article here.

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Yorktown school administrators are investigating allegations of harassment and intimidation made by members of the Somers girls varsity lacrosse team against members of the Yorktown High school boys varsity lacrosse team. The Somers students said the incident took place before the Section 1 Class B Girls Lacrosse championship game May 25, at Yorktown High School.

In two statements released June 6, Somers Central School District administrators said members of the Somers girls lacrosse team were preparing for the game in the Yorktown boys locker room when members of the Yorktown boys lacrosse team entered and “engaged in harassing and intimidating behavior,” which caused the girls lacrosse students to leave, and relocate to a different locker room.

Sign Up for E-News

"Unfortunately, what should have been a day showcasing the competitive-spirit, athletic abilities and sportsmanship of both teams, was marred by the rude and disrespectful behavior of certain students," said Somers Superintendent Dr. Raymond Blanch.

The incident was investigated internally and follow-up conversations were had with Yorktown school officials to make them aware of the outcome of the investigation, Blanch said. The information was also shared with the Section 1 Office of Interscholastic Athletics, he added.

“We have considered all avenues available to address this situation, including consulting legal counsel,” Blanch, Somers High School Principal Mark Bayer and Somers Athletic Director Roman Catalino wrote in a statement to parents. The school is available to support any students impacted by this incident, he said, and encouraged any students to contact the Somers administration should they need assistance.

In a statement sent to Yorktown News, Dr. Ralph Napolitano, superintendent of schools for Yorktown, said the Yorktown administration is taking the incident "very seriously." He emphasized that for six days after the game, no incident or problem was communicated to Yorktown administrators.

According to Napolitano, the incident was reported to the districts of both administrations via an anonymous letter, which was received June 1. 

"Mr. [Fio] Nardone, the Yorktown athletic director, immediately called Somers to discuss the email," Napolitano said.

It was agreed during the call that the principals and athletic directors of both high schools were to arrange a conference call to collectively discuss the matter, Napolitano said. The following day, June 2, the high school principals spoke and scheduled a conversation for the following week. That conversation was held June 6.

"Unfortunately, while this phone conversation did occur [June 6], Somers administrators had already released a statement prior to our opportunity to fully investigate the matter, which we are now doing," he said.

Yorktown has requested a meeting with the captains, administrators and coaches of both teams, pending the conclusion of the investigation, to further discuss the matter and how to address it, Napolitano said.

"We look forward to continuing a positive relationship with our Somers neighbors," he said. 

Blanch, who said he was concerned and upset by the incident, said the two districts have shared a "long history of positive experiences," and that the Somers Central School District's administrators "know very well that [Yorktown administrators] remain committed to upholding the highest standards of sportsmanship."

"We look forward to resolving this matter and supporting the interests of students in both schools," Blanch said.

This story will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Cuomo Shores Up His Left Flank (at Our Expense)

We keep hearing how the Republicans are bought and paid for by the NRA. I recently explained to you the truth about this myth. The reality is the Democrats are the ones who are bought and paid for. Not by the NRA, but the environmentalists.

You thought I was going to say public sector unions, didn’t you? Well, they own both parties in New York. However, the environmentalists pull the ...

Appreciating Two Amazing Role Models

As difficult as this winter has been with the power outages and stormy weather, it pales in comparison to my overwhelming sense of dread as I prepared for the 20th anniversary of my mother’s passing on March 20. On that day, I know my mind will inevitably flash back to her last painful hours, when she valiantly struggled just to stay alive. Yet, I’m equally certain I will remember the ...

To Harrison, L'Chaim!

At long last, the smile of spring approaches, as an angry winter recedes into good riddance. Our spirit is ready to be re-charged. Damn the power outages, full speed ahead!

For my wife, Elyse, daughter, Elissa, and me, this otherwise exuberant time of year brings a confusion of mixed emotions. In 2003, on the opening day of spring, March 20, which happens to be my birthday, our 15-year-old son ...

Storm Aftermath and Update

March 22, 2018

During my travels throughout the storm and its aftermath, I had the opportunity of seeing firsthand how hard our town employees worked on behalf of the residents of Yorktown, whether riding with the Highway Department while they were plowing the roads, assisting at the YCCC warming facility, working with the staff at the Town Emergency Operations Center, bringing food to residents at Beaver Ridge ...

A Half-Baked Column

“I think it’s time we retired this oven,” I said to my husband as I displayed a sheet of blackened sweet potato fries. “Even the dog won’t eat these.”

“Sure he will,” he said, tossing some fries on the floor. The dog immediately sucked them down.

“Not my point,” I said.

We had known that our oven was on its last burners for ...

Read Across America With Dr. Seuss

Dear Dr. Linda,

I’m a school librarian and I wanted to remind your readers that March 2 was “Read Across America Day.”  Teachers, librarians and others who read with children encourage schools, libraries and parents to celebrate this day with their children. This special date was chosen because it is the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the adored children’s author. That ...

Thanks for All You Do

March 22, 2018

To the editor,

I am writing to tell you how much we enjoy receiving the weekly Yorktown News. It is a consistent source of local news, new business, opinions and sports.

We recently had no power for seven days due to the storms, and regularly monitored Yorktown News’ Twitter page for town updates. Your team demonstrated its dedication by issuing an edition despite the lack of power ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

OAC Steamer Co. Firehouse, Ossining

2018 Living Art Event

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Sat, March 24, 12:00 PM

Club Fit, Jefferson Valley

Yoga for Women with Cancer

Health & Wellness

Seton Holds First Social Fundraiser

March 14, 2018

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton school, 1375 East Main St., Shrub Oak will be hosting it's first ever Social Fundraiser on Friday, May 4th, 2018 in the Seton school gym.  Seton extends it's invitation to all to join in a night of food, fun, and dozens of raffles and silent auctions.  Entry tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets purchased by April 6th will be $35 per person; ...