Hampden Academy has issued a public statement in response to a claim made of verbal sexual harassment during a soccer game, which took place at the Hampden school on Oct. 12.

The event was a match between Hampden and Camden Hills Regional High School's girls soccer teams.

Asked if he wished to comment on the alleged harassment, Superintendent Richard Lyons of RSU 22, which includes Hampden Academy, provided the following statement via email on Nov. 17:

"Public Statement in Response to Allegation of Sexual Harassment

"On October 12th RSU 22 was made aware of an allegation of verbal sexual harassment. The incident was alleged to have occurred during a girls soccer game at Hampden Academy between Hampden Academy and Camden Hills. The RSU 22 Board, our staff, faculty, and administrators, do not condone this kind of behavior, and will always take immediate action when we are aware of it.

"The seriousness of the allegation warranted a thorough investigation, as no person should be subjected to verbal sexual harassment. Upon receiving the complaint, our administrative team began an investigation that spanned approximately seven days and included the Principals, Athletic Directors, students and coaches from both schools. Our Superintendent of Schools will be submitting the full investigative report to the DOE this week.

"The investigation could not find confirmation of the allegation. We are not saying it did not happen, but we cannot verify it and we were unable to find who may have made the remarks. If our district’s employees had been aware of it at the time, it would have been dealt with appropriately.

"Although we cannot independently verify the events as reported, we believe there is a need to improve the education our students receive in regards to appropriate behavior and sportsmanship. We will invite the Maine Principals Association, who oversees athletic events for Maine high schools, to Hampden Academy to provide our students an overview of their code of conduct policy, which is very close to our own. Administrators and coaches will use this as a springboard for further education and discussion."

The Camden Hills student involved could not be reached for comment.