‘Nobody cares’: Ex-Viera High football player’s mom voices frustration over hazing investigation

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — The mother of a former Viera High School football player who was hazed last month spoke publicly about the incident Wednesday alongside her lawyers.


Avanese Taylor, the victim’s mother, held a news conference at the Fiske Boulevard Church of Christ during which she said that her child was the victim of a crime.

“We’re here today because our son was hazed. He was sexually assaulted. They don’t want to address that. They don’t want to address the cyberbullying that has taken place,” she said. “He has been an afterthought in this whole process. And that’s the frustrating part about it. For something to happen to you and no body cares -- no body cares until mom and dad have to get involved.”

Read: Viera High School football teams allowed to compete following hazing investigation

Football activities were temporarily suspended last month over the hazing incident.

Once video of it surfaced on social media, the school’s varsity football coach was relieved of his duties until further notice, but he still teaches physical education at the school.

Officials said a human resources investigation is ongoing, but the school district has closed its investigation into the students allegedly involved in the incident.

Read: Viera High School cancels Friday’s football game after hazing incident

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said its investigation has been completed, and the case has been sent to the State Attorney’s Office for review.

Taylor said her son no longer plays football, and he has transferred to another school.

She said he has not yet decided if he will ever again step foot into a locker room.

Read: Team activities suspended following hazing incident with Viera High School football players

School officials said the football team was required to take part in an anti-hazing program to prevent future such incidents.

Click here to download our free news, weather and smart TV apps. And click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, WFTV.com

Jason Kelly joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2014. He serves as the station's Digital Executive Producer.