CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- A Tennessee high school has called off the rest of its basketball season after three of its players were arrested on charges of raping a teammate in an apparent hazing incident.
Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Rick Smith said Wednesday he was taking this "very unusual step" with Ooltewah High School "so that the criminal justice system can work the way we expect."
Gatlinburg police say three teens face aggravated rape and aggravated assault charges in connection with injuries to a teammate who underwent surgery after being assaulted while attending a basketball tournament.
None of the teens has been named because they're all juveniles.
Smith said he canceled the rest of the season because he was concerned public speculation about the case "could threaten the integrity" of the investigation.
"I do want to let everyone know how heartbroken we are about this, how heartbroken I am personally," said Smith at a PTA meeting on Wednesday, reports CBS affiliate WDEF. "But I can promise you, and those of you that know me and many of you do, know we're going to work very hard and very diligently within our staff, our school board and the community at large to develop the kind of safeguards that will hopefully prevent this from ever happening again."
WDEF reports that Smith wasn't scheduled to speak at the meeting but with a public growing impatient for answers, he chose Wednesday's PTA meeting where suicide among youth was the topic.
"Our hearts go out to the families that are affected, certainly to the child who was affected and will be for the rest of his life," said PTA president Sherrie Ford. "We're very compassionate to that situation and our hearts and prayers go out to them."