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S-O youths expelled for bullying

SIBLEY, Iowa — Two eighth-grade football players facing charges of assault with sexual intent as a result of a bullying incident were expelled from school for the remainder of the semester during a Saturday closed-door meeting of the Sibley-Ocheyedan school board.

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Should the two boys return to school at S-O next year, they’ll face in-school suspension, according to a KTIV-TV report, and will also be required to do a presentation on bullying to the middle school, take part in counseling and perform community service. They are also banned from all extracurricular activities for the remainder of the school year.

The incident involving the football players took place in a school bus Oct. 15 on the way to a football game in Rock Rapids, Iowa. Several boys reportedly held down the victim, and one put his genitals in the victim’s face while another took a photo with his smartphone that was later sent to several other students. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, and additional charges remain a possibility.

A third football player charged with simple assault in the incident has already returned to school following a five-day suspension, the Sioux City Journal reported.

In addition to the assault charges, one of the boys also faces a misdemeanor charge of dissemination of pornography because he allegedly sent pictures of the incident.

KTIV reported Saturday night that the bullying victim did not tell his parents or school administrators about October incident. The victim’s family learned about what took place from another family with a child in the school system.

Multiple meetings between S-O Superintendent Bill Boer, middle school principal Mike Morran and the victim’s family preceded Saturday’s meeting, which was attended by nearly 100 people. The S-O school board voted 5-0 on the expelling of the students and the additional action.

The Associated Press also contributed to this report.