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What's going on in Proctor? Star Tribune reporter says, 'We don't know the facts yet'

Proctor Public Schools announced the school's entire high school football season has been canceled. The reason? Alleged student misconduct.

PROCTOR, Minn. — A question many in the state have been asking for days: What is going on in Proctor, Minn.?

The small town just miles from Duluth has one high school, and this week, the district announced the school's entire high school football season has been canceled.

The reason? Alleged student misconduct involving that team.

Rumors are rampant as to what that alleged misconduct is, so we wanted to have a discussion with the Star Tribune's northern Minnesota reporter who has been covering the story about what we know — and what we do not.

Proctor is a small town with big pride.

News of a canceled high school football season was a shock. 

Jana Hollingsworth has been on the story for more than a week.

"We don't know very much at this point," Hollingsworth said.

Let's start with what she knows. First, we look at her reporting from the official side, meaning from the school district and the Proctor police.

"Not much has been said beyond there was misconduct with the football team — student misconduct — and there's an investigation underway, and that's really all that has been released up to this point, along with the cancelation of the entire football season," Hollingsworth said.

But what she is hearing sheds more light, not on the facts, but on the emotions in that town.

"A lot of people I have talked to have not wanted to say anything publicly, but I feel like I do have a really good grasp of what people are feeling right now and a lot of students agree that the season should be canceled," Hollingsworth said. "There are many who don't as well, but I feel like there is a real mix of people understanding why, and people feeling that the whole team shouldn't be punished because of the actions of a few. But at the same time, we don't know the facts yet. We don't know what happened."

And the truth of the matter is, we don't know what we will or won't know. Minors are involved, and the rumored allegations are very sensitive.

But days of not knowing what happened — coupled with the certainty of a canceled sport for student athletes and the community as a whole — is taking a toll.

"There's a lot being said on the internet right now. People don't know what to believe, and so I think a natural assumption is to believe the worst, believe what they are reading, and I think that scares a lot of parents," Hollingsworth said. 

Hollingsworth says the story is tough to cover because emotions are running so high for so many different people.

"Just in the way that people who I feel normally would have talked openly about something, there is just a lot of shutting down," Hollingsworth said.

When asked why she thought that was: "A, because there are minors involved and that is a very sensitive area, but also I think a lot of people are just embarrassed," Hollingsworth said. "What is being said is not something people would want said about their school and their town, being such a small town to begin with. It's a sensitive topic."

So what's next?

Honestly, we don't know for sure. Hollingsworth said when she asked that of Proctor police, she was told the investigation into what happened likely wouldn't end this week.