Knights of Mayhem in Sandwich

Judge throws out confession, endangering case

Sandwich Police blow an Open and Shut Case

One thing’s for sure – Sandwich High School senior Ty McGrath has a good lawyer.  He needed one and he got one.

We saw this last week when Barnstable District Court Judge W. James O’Neill threw out the alleged confession of Mr. McGrath related to his November 7th alleged attack on a freshman in the Sandwich High School locker room.

This is America.  Every person accused of a crime has a right to a vigorous defense.  Mr. McGrath has a lawyer who is earning his fees.  Clearly the Sandwich Police made a mistake in their interrogation and damaged what might have been an open-and-shut case.

We expect the next thing we will hear is that a plea bargain has been struck because the Commonwealth doesn’t have sufficient evidence to take the case to trial.  If that happens, we hope the alleged victim’s family files a civil suit so more of the facts can be put on the record.

Judge listens to a crying adult

If the case gets plea bargained, we hope the victim’s family files a civil suit so more of the facts can be put on the record.We do, however, take exception with one remark made by Judge O’Neill, who said, “I can’t overlook the fact that he’s an 18 year old high school kid who is crying.” 

Really, Judge?  “Boo hoo!”  There are plenty of 18 year old men fighting and dying in Afghanistan right now.  In eight months or so, Mr. McGrath could be over there alongside them... “18 year old high school kid” indeed!

No one denied that the varsity football player beat up a freshman

So far no one seems to have denied that the varsity football player beat up a freshman. Indeed, comments by McGrath’s mother make it sound like her son was singled out for punishment because she rocked the boat regarding another player who might have been smoking pot prior to a football game. 

There are plenty of 18 year old men fighting and dying in Afghanistan right now.So does that mean that it’s okay for football players whose mother isn’t rocking the boat to beat up younger kids?  The twist offered by Ms. McGrath makes us wonder if these beat-downs might be part of Sandwich High School tradition.

Indeed, many of us here at Cape Cod Today grew up in high schools where the jocks got away with mayhem while the adults looked on almost benevolently.  The star athletes had a whole universe of support from the coaches, administrators and “boosters”.  Many of them committed bad behavior with impunity while lesser mortals in the student body would receive harsh punishment for the same behavior.

Penn State in Upper Cape? Something is rotten in Sandwich

Are we to infer that if Mr. McGrath’s mother wasn’t a squeaky wheel that the police wouldn’t have been called following the November 7th incident?  If a different member of the football team had allegedly beaten a freshman would the matter have been handled internally – or perhaps ignored? Is Sandwich High reacting like Penn State in these instances?

Not a single coach or athletic director has been terminated as a result of Ms. McGrath’s complaints about joint-smoking football players or the alleged beating of a freshman.Something is rotten in the high school at Sandwich.  We thought that Superintendent Canfield – the “new sheriff in town” – was brought in to solve the problems in the Sandwich Public Schools. 

To our knowledge, not a single coach or athletic director has been terminated as a result of either Ms. McGrath’s complaints about joint-smoking football players or the alleged beating of a freshman in a poorly supervised locker room. 

Instead we today read the Sandwich Watchdog’s story about arbitrary and capricious discipline at Sandwich High Schoool.

When will Superintendent Canfield stop hiding behind surveys and take ownership of the institutional problems at Sandwich High School?

The poor superintendent’s probably afraid that if he tries to lead he’ll be shipped off to Mary-Ellen-Johnson-Land.

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