Towson University's cheerleaders accept social probation; Records to be sealed

TOWSON, Md. - Towson cheerleaders will not further appeal to the university president to modify a decision to ban the team from performing on- or off-campus for the fall semester., it was announced Friday afternoon.

The team was initially suspended for the academic year and barred from practicing or performing on- and off-campus following an investigation into alleged hazing on the team's part.

The university will not release a copy of the incident report, which would likely detail the findings of the investigation, as it would be a violation of the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Ray Feldmann, a Towson spokesman said in a release.

"Following consultation with the Maryland Attorney General's office regarding the release of the incident report detailing the allegations against the cheerleading team, it has been determined that the report is a confidential student record protected against disclosure under the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)," the release states.

The team successfully appealed its first sanction —suspension for the academic year—to a university committee that ultimately decided to modify the punishment.

The team was instead mandated to complete 650 hours of community service and would only be barred from performing on- or off-campus during the fall semester. The team can practice on-campus under the new decision. The team will also have to attend three educational workshops.

Timeline:

Early August: University administrators are presented with a complaint that the team violated the school's hazing policy.

Aug. 7: The university launched an investigation.

Aug. 23: The team is charged with three violations of the university's code of conduct, specifically the school's hazing policy. Administrators suspend the team for the academic year.

Sept. 3: The cheer squad appeals the university's decision .

Sept. 6: An appeals committee composed of four faculty members, two staff members and two students reviews the written appeal.

Sept. 10: The committee orders the sanction to be modified. The cheer team instead is suspended for the fall semester under a ruling of social probation. 

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