21 Ayala High football players suspended in hazing incident

CHINO HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- Twenty-one football players have been suspended from Ruben S. Ayala High School in Chino Hills after a reported incident of hazing during a game visit to Utah. The players will be suspended from one to five days, depending on their level of involvement.

The Chino Valley Unified School District and Chino Hills Police were investigating the incident. The investigation centers on what happened in a hotel room in St. George, Utah.

The Chino Valley Unified School District is interviewing players after allegations of hazing. School officials would not comment on the nature of the hazing, only to say they are investigating.

"The main concern is that the district is not going to tolerate bullying or hazing of any type, and our student safety is our number-one concern," said Julie Gobin, a Chino Valley USD spokesperson.

The school informed the players and their parents of the suspensions on Thursday. The Chino Hills Police Department later responded to the school after some parents became upset.

J.J. Alfaro, a senior at the high school and a football player, says the incident is being overblown.

"There was no hazing, first of all. All of this is really based on rumors," said Alfaro. "Everything just escalated. The school escalated it a lot, quickly. It really wasn't that big of a deal."

Some students at Ayala High School took to social media to vent their concerns, using the Twitter hashtag "#FreeTheBulldogs." A petition was circulating to reinstate the suspended players.

But until the full story is known, students are left to guess what really happened in that hotel room.

The Bulldogs do not have a game scheduled on Friday night.

The investigation was continuing.

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