Report calls Ooltewah High School's hazing training 'deficient'

Report includes 22 recommendations to help prevent future incidents

Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 2/15/16. Defendants appear before Judge Robert Philyaw during a preliminary hearing for the Ooltewah High School basketball coaches and the school's athletic director in Hamilton County Juvenile Court on February 15, 2016. Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston charged head coach Andre "Tank" Montgomery, assistant coach Karl Williams and Athletic Director Allard "Jesse" Nayadley with failing to report child abuse or suspected child sexual abuse in connection with the rape of an Ooltewah High School freshman by his basketball teammates Dec. 22, 2015.

A culture of bullying and hazing existed on the Ooltewah High School boy's basketball team for months, maybe even years, before the pool-cue rape of a freshman player, allegedly by three of his teammates, according to a new report.

And while coaches knew about "excessive horseplay," the attorney who conducted the report could not determine if they were aware of its severity, but concluded the men failed to properly address the issue.

The Hamilton County Board of Education commissioned Courtney Bullard, an attorney with Spears, Moore, Rebman & Williams, P.C., to conduct an independent investigation of the school's culture and district policies following the rape. The Office of Civil Rights requires an independent investigation after an event like the one in December, and the board voted Thursday night to release the report, which was previously sealed under attorney-client privilege.