WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ) — Warren De La Salle president John Knight has been put on administrative leave amid the school's hazing scandal, sources confirm to 7 Action News.
Knight was placed on administrative leave by the school board.
The board says it will be looking for a permanent replacement by Aug. 3.
BREAKING: Multiple sources confirm the De La Salle board has placed school President John Knight on administrative leave, following a high profile hazing scandal. A press release from the school is being prepared this morning. @wxyzdetroit pic.twitter.com/m40RUyWmpY— Simon Shaykhet WXYZ (@simonshaykhet) March 5, 2020
Seven students were charged in the hazing scandal, five as adults and two as juveniles.
The charges are directly tied to new evidence after a new parent came forward after the St. Clair County Prosecutor originally declined to press charges the day before. Sources tell us there are two victims in the case, and new evidence was learned after that parent came forward.
BREAKING: De La Salle plans to have a new school President in place by August 3rd, after move by board to place John Knight on administrative leave. Read full statement just released below: @wxyzdetroit pic.twitter.com/u6TsygILvO— Simon Shaykhet WXYZ (@simonshaykhet) March 5, 2020
In November 2019, the St. Clair County prosecutor took over the investigation involving the Warren De La Salle football team.
Macomb County prosecutor Eric Smith recused himself from the case because one of the office's senior assistant prosecutors is a potential material witness in the case. That created a conflict of interest that "precludes us from making the necessary charging decisions on this case."
The school abruptly canceled their football season in November after claims varsity players used broomsticks in a sexual manner to haze younger players in the locker room ritual.
The students involved in the investigation filed a lawsuit, claiming they are being discriminated against due to their race. They note that of the 13 students initially implicated, the only students who were suspended are minorities, while the remaining ten students have faced "no discipline whatsoever" and are Caucasian.
According to the lawsuit, the three students have been suspended for 46 days. Two of the students are in danger of not graduating. The lawsuit states that they were approached by De La Salle administrators at the direction of its president, John Knight, and have been asked to implicate other students in order to get back into the school.