Andover High to Conduct Its Own Investigation into Neglect Charges

Andover High School is launching its own investigation into allegations varsity hockey coaches denied players food after losing an away game.

Principal Philip Conrad said Tuesday he is seeking authority to retain an independent professional to conduct the school’s investigation into the varsity hockey program. The school said it delayed its own investigation at the request of the state Department of Children and Families. The agency, however, has since released its restriction even as it continues to investigate, Conrad said.

“Given the level of public interest in this situation and the need to have a finding which cannot be challenged for any reason, as well as the fact that the coaches have a reporting relationship to me as their supervisor, I feel that it is in the best interests of Andover High School to retain professional services,” Conrad said. “An independent investigator will provide an objective, holistic review of this situation, which will aid us greatly as we move forward from this unfortunate situation.”

Andover High was notified two weeks ago the state agency had opened an investigation into allegations of neglect by Andover High School varsity hockey coaches. Three coaches were placed on administrative leave—a routine when a public employee is under investigation. Junior Varsity hockey coach Peter Loring was named interim varsity head coach as the investigation continues.

“What has been lost in some of the public discord and social media discussion is that the students come first for us. If anything improper or inappropriate was occurring in our hockey program that potentially endangers the health, welfare and safety of our students, we want to know so that we can take the appropriate steps to prevent it from ever happening again,” Conrad said. “This is not about a rush to judgement. It’s about doing the right thing and protecting our children above all else.”