Wayne School District officials are looking into an alleged incident involving a beleaguered Wayne Hills High School football player blowing an air horn into a teacher’s face Friday afternoon and injuring her eye at a pep rally.
Star player and team captain Andrew Monaghan, 18, who was among nine football players charged with aggravated assault earlier this month after they allegedly attacked two Wayne Valley High School students after a party, was involved in the incident, according to a police report.
According to the report, teacher Marina Cangialosi was on duty in the stands during the Friday rally and noticed that student Joe Lane, also a football player, had something in his hand hidden behind his back. Cangialosi asked Lane, 18, for the item, but he resisted giving it to her.
The report states that Lane tried passing it to Monaghan, who was next to him, but Monaghan also refused to give the item to Cangialosi. Cangialosi asked for the item again.
Lane is quoted in the report as saying, “Mrs. Cangialosi, look, it is only an air horn.”
Lane then pointed the air horn toward Cangialosi and activated it, according to the report.
Cangialosi stated to police that the horn was so close to her face that she felt the effect of it in her right eye. She also stated that her vision in that eye became blurry.
The report also states that Cangialosi believes that the air horn was not activated with the intent of hurting her, only to show her that it was an air horn. Cangialosi confiscated the air horn, and then drove herself to Chilton Hospital in Pequannock, police said.
Roth stated that it is a “privilege” to play high school football. He also said, “participating in high school sports can provide valuable learning experiences for children.”
The Wayne Hills High School handbook states that insubordination is “the act of deliberately disobeying authority. Students are expected to comply with the instructions of administrators, teachers, and staff at all times throughout the school day.”
The district’s code of conduct states that high school students can receive up to a three-day long out of school suspension for a first-time offense of insubordination.
Wayne Police Chief John Reardon said that Lane and Monaghan have not been charged in the incident. Cangialosi would have to make a formal statement to police in order for that to occur, he said.
Interim Superintendent Michael Roth said Monday afternoon, that “the district is taking appropriate steps to address the incident.”
Sean Spiller, president of the Wayne Education Association, said he was aware of the incident Monday, adding that he believes district administrators are “acting appropriately to address the situation.”
Wayne Hills Principal Scot Beckerman declined comment.
Nine Hills football players, including Monaghan, were charged with aggravated assault Nov. 8 after they, according to police, attacked two Wayne Valley High School students after a party on Urban Club Road Oct. 29.
The players were allowed to play in the team’s first- and second-round state playoff games at Wayne Hills earlier this month. Roth suspended the players from participating in the second-round game Nov. 16, but district officials placed a stay on the ban the next day. The board is expected to issue a final ruling on the matter Nov. 29.