Any story that begins with students squaring off against teachers in a dodgeball game at 3 a.m. this one time, at a weekend band event, isn’t going to end well.
This story out of the small southern Louisiana town of Raceland is certainly no exception.
In the wee hours of Sunday, Aug. 24, Clyde “Joey” Duplantis III, a member of the Lafourche Parish school board, attacked a 14-year-old boy during a dodgeball game, local CBS affiliate WWL-TV reports.
The incident occurred at the overnight March-A-Thon at Central Lafourche High School. Duplantis was a parent chaperone.
Duplantis was mad at the boy because he thought the boy wasn’t following the totally-agreed-and-understood rules of dodgeball.
Band director William Martin told police that Duplantis ended up as the last player in the game on the parents’ side. At some point, Duplantis apparently hit the unidentified boy with a ball. Next, witnesses say, Duplantis got mad when the boy didn’t leave the playing field fast enough.
Tensions then flared, at least for the school board member. Over dodgeball. Witnesses say Duplantis accosted the boy, jamming him against a wall and then holding him by either the neck or the side. He stabbed at the student with a ball.
The boy later complained of pain in his side.
After obtaining statements from several other witnesses including Duplantis, local police have charged the school board member with simple assault.
“We have multiple people saying one thing happened, and the perpetrator in this case saying some of it happened but not necessarily to that degree,” a sheriff’s department spokesman told the CBS affiliate. “Based on witness statements, we feel pretty confident what happened and that’s why we brought the charge against him.”
The boy’s mother is frustrated that no one informed her about the incident until a few days after the annual march-a-thon. She has urged Duplantis to resign from the school board.
Lafourche Parish School District spokesman Floyd Benoit issued a statement assuring that school district officials “is continuing to investigate the allegations.”
While you probably assumed that the dark forces of political correctness and the general wussification of America had long ago wiped out the last vestige of dodgeball — probably during the Clinton administration or something — the game is still played in some public schools.
However, the rite of passage is a dying as a school-sponsored activity.
Last March, for example, a school district in New Hampshire voted to ban dodgeball and all games involving human targets from its physical education curriculum. (RELATED: Revenge Of The Nerds: New Hampshire School District Bans Dodgeball)
Superintendent Henry LaBranche said he worried that dodgeball and games of its ilk can lead to upsetting experiences for some students.