Hamilton High School parents, staff meet to begin healing after hazing case

Posted at 10:44 PM, Apr 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-11 10:21:05-04

It's being called "A Night of Hope."

Monday evening Chandler police as well as school administrators, parents, and students from Hamilton High School came together outside the Ginger Monkey restaurant in a show of solidarity in the midst of a hazing scandal that's rocked the Valley. 

Three students on the football team are at the center of the investigation, including 17-year-old Nathaniel Thomas, who's being charged as an adult. 

His charges include sexual assault, kidnapping, and molestation. His defense team argues the school didn't have enough supervision. 

The Night of Hope was a way for the community to try to move forward.  

"I have four thousand students," said Principal Ken James. "And it just hurts me when they're hurt." 

James addressed the crowd of at least fifty early in the evening. He said he's heard stories of students being embarrassed to be seen in Hamilton High School gear when out in public.  

"The alleged conduct of a few does not represent the culture of Hamilton High School," he explained.  

The football team's booster club helped organize the event. One parent, Jolynn Humphrey, felt compelled to help bring everyone together. 

"It's very sad," she said. "And it's our school. So I feel responsible as I hope all parents do." 

Knowing they can't do anything to change what may have happened, but instead, move forward together in hopes that Hamilton can heal.  

"Not let something like this ever happen again. We're going to learn from this," Humphrey said.  

The principal said the school is cooperating fully with police but has also been allowed to open its own investigation.