"We found that every high school student who joins any group-from gangs to church groups, from the football team to the band-is at risk of being hazed," said a doctor who conducted an investigation on hazing. For the study, 1,390 students were interviewed, 48% of which admitted to having been hazed.
From being forced to consume ridiculous amounts of alcohol to being beaten in a bus by drumsticks, individuals across the country have been subjected to horrific hazing traditions. Some of the terrible hazing rituals that students across the country have admitted to include: being yelled or cursed at, being made to eat disgusting things, being forced to consume alcohol or take illegal drugs, vandalizing property, stealing or cheating, and engaging in sexual acts.
In the words of an Alfred University president, "Hazing is not simply horseplay or rough good humor. It often takes a form that is dangerous as well as emotional and damaging." How can hazing be stopped? Many think that if more students knew about the safety risks of hazing and if awareness was spread at school and church and the problem was discussed to team members of various group affiliations these atrocious deeds would stop. Methods that encourage awareness include:
- Discussing what hazing is: "Activities that humiliate, degrade, abuse or endanger participants"
- Discussing hazing incidents
- Discussing how to stop hazing
- Directing students to online help such as Stophazing.org
- Pointing out that 42 states have anti-hazing laws
- Discussing legal consequences to hazing
Last year, the death of a drum major at Florida A&M received media attention, when the collegiate's death was attributed to blunt force trauma. The man was beaten to death by drumsticks, mallets and fists as he crossed a bus aisle in the dark. A few years ago, a hazing incident at Rutgers University resulted in six sorority members facing charges of aggravated hazing. Their bail was set at $1,500 each.
In Texas, hazing is a class B misdemeanor, but becomes a class A misdemeanor if bodily injury results. If a death occurs, participants in the hazing can be charged with a felony. Also, an organization can be forced to pay excessive fines if it condoned the hazing. If you sustained injuries as the result of hazing, you could be eligible to receive compensation for the pain and harm that was inflicted upon you. Contact our personal injury firm today to learn more!