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Somers Superintendent Clarifies Statements About Alleged Yorktown Incident

Somers Superintendent Raymond Blanch
Somers Superintendent Raymond Blanch Photo Credit: File

Thi story has been updated

Somers Superintendent Raymond Blanch said Thursday he jumped the gun in issuing a statement following an allegation the Yorktown boys lacrosse team harassed the Somers girls lacrosse team on May 25 in the Yorktown boys locker room.

"I did not provide the Yorktown administration with the opportunity to fully complete their internal fact-finding related to the incident before I communicated the information from our fact-finding to the Somers community," Blanch said. "In no way was it my intention to implicate the entire Yorktown boys’ lacrosse team."

Blanch said Somers has concluded there is no evidence of any sexual harassment of the girls' team.

"There is no further information at this point in time regarding allegations of individual misconduct," Blanch said. "We will continue to work with Yorktown regarding this matter."

The boys did enter the locker room unaware the girls were using the locker room, Blanch said.

"To the extent that there may be individual instances of inappropriate remarks or conduct uncovered, Yorktown Superintendent Napolitano and I are in agreement to fulfill the due process obligations of each school district and to be cooperative in sharing information," Blanch said.

Yorktown Superintendent Dr. Ralph Napolitano said he was happy Blanch's investigation brought him to the same place as Yorktown's internal investigation at the moment.

"There was no evidence of harassment or intimidation by the group of Yorktown boys lacrosse players who entered their own locker room at Yorktown High School on May 25," Napolitano said. "We are relieved to hear that it was never Dr. Blanch’s intention to implicate the entire Yorktown boys lacrosse team without substantiated evidence. When the fact-finding process is allowed to work, it always prevails

On Tuesday, Blanch said the boys engaged in harassing and intimidating behavior directed toward the girls. The girls were forced to leave and relocate to another locker room, Blanch said.

Yorktown's boys lax team edged Garden City 5-4 in double overtime in the New York Class B state semifinals on Wednesday at SUNY Albany and will play two-time state champ Victor for the state championship Saturday at St. John Fisher College in Rochester.

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