Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

Richland 44 athletic director departs after hazing reports, joining superintendent, principal

Richland 44 School District Athletic director John Freeman, shown coaching the Colts football team in 2015, was allegedly fired. This follows the recent resignation and retirement of superintendent Tim Godfrey and high school principal Bruce Anderson. (David Samson / Forum News Service)

COLFAX, N.D. — There's another departure at the Richland 44 School District.

Athletic director John Freeman, who is also coach of the Colt's football team, is no longer with the district, according to Lisa Amundson, president of the school board.

Amundson would not confirm when Freeman left or whether he was fired or resigned. The president also wouldn't not comment on whether any other coaches within the district have recently departed.

"I cannot comment any further than that on personnel matters," Amundson said Thursday, April 5, in an email to Forum News Service. Attempts to reach Freeman by phone Thursday were unsuccessful.

Freeman's departure follows announcements earlier this week of superintendent Tim Godfrey resigning and high school principal Bruce Anderson retiring.

It's unconfirmed whether any of the leadership changes are related to the ongoing investigation into hazing and sexual misconduct alleged to have occured in the boys locker room at the school and at least once in Bismarck.

The allegations surfaced in January, and five boys now face several charges, including hazing, sexual assault and felonious restraint. The boys were referred to juvenile court.

Amundson said the boys under investigation will not be returning to school this term.

The school board held a closed-door session Wednesday, April 4, to discuss student records. At a meeting held the previous day, the board accepted letters from Anderson and Godfrey announcing their departures at the end of this school year.

Some residents are circulating a petition to recall Amundson and two other board members, Sarah Myers and Josh Mjoness, citing "fiscal concerns" as the reason.

Kim Hyatt

Kim Hyatt is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth. She started her newspaper career at the Owatonna People’s Press covering arts and education. In 2016, she received Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award and later that year she joined The Forum newsroom.

(701) 241-5511
randomness