Report: Armstrong High students conducted vulgar chants during hockey game against Mars Area

Students in the Armstrong School District are no longer allowed to attend hockey games after high school students vulgarly chanted a goalie during a recent game against Mars Area.

The Pennsylvania Interschool Hockey League is investigating and its executive committee will discuss the incident at a meeting Wednesday or Thursday night, league commissioner John Mucha said on Tuesday.

Mucha did not say what action the league might take. The league will issue a statement by Friday, he said.

The incident occurred Thursday during a game at the Belmont complex near Kittanning.

The Armstrong students were not allowed to attend a Monday night game against Butler, Mucha said.

Belmont is owned by Armstrong County, and county commissioners have also banned Armstrong students from being there as spectators, Armstrong High School principal Mike Cominos said. Cominos said the district supports both actions.

In a written statement, Mars Zone Superintendent Mark Gross said Armstrong administrators briefed them on the situation on Friday.

“At that point, they issued a formal apology on behalf of their board of directors, their district and their community while ensuring a full investigation,” the statement said from Gross. “We are confident that the Armstrong School District’s efforts will lead to proper discipline for those involved while also minimizing the potential for future incidents. We understand that they will also contact the victim with a formal apology. “

Cominos said the district is working to identify the students involved, the ringleaders in particular, and to discipline them. He was unwilling to speculate on what form the discipline might take, but said they might be banned from other school events.

“We know what has been chanted. In the end, it is deplorable and extremely disrespectful, ”Cominos said. “We have a problem and we know we have to solve it. “

Between 40 and 60 students were involved, Cominos said. The school struggles to identify them as the videos reviewed do not focus on the seating area and some were wearing Halloween costumes.

Cominos said the district supports whatever the PIHL decides.

“These are our children,” he said. “We have to fix this problem. It goes against our core values. It is very disturbing what they did.

Michael DiVittorio is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, or via Twitter .

Catherine J. Martinez