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Hamilton High principal, athletic director will not return to school

(Facebook Photo)

PHOENIX — Two officials at Hamilton High School in Chandler, where allegations of football team hazing have plagued the campus, have been permanently reassigned away from campus, the school district notified parents in a letter Friday.

Principal Ken James and athletic director Shawn Rustad will not be coming back next school year but will still be employed by the Chandler Unified School District, according to the letter.

Signed by Superintendent Camille Casteel, the letter read, in part:

“Specifically, after weighing the matter carefully, a decision has been made that Mr. James and Mr. Rustad will not return to Hamilton High School, but will continue employment at the District level. A primary consideration for the decision was the best interest of the school, including the desire to avoid any further disruption.”

James and Rustad had already been reassigned away from the campus near Ocotillo Road and Arizona Avenue. Former football coach Steve Belles also was reassigned.

Several football players were charged with sexual assault, kidnapping and aggravated assault amid the hazing allegations that became public in March 2017.

Police recommended in the fall that abuse charges be filed.

No charges were filed against several school officials because of a lack of evidence, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said in February.

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