Much has been reported about the seemingly never-ending problem of fraternity hazing. Every year, grim news of college students being injured and even killed in hazing rituals nabs headlines across the country. What is not as widely discussed is the endemic problem of high school hazing, incidents that can prove as degrading and dangerous as what is seen on the collegiate level.
High school hazing is not limited to schools in urban settings in the more populated regions of the United States. We are seeing ongoing incidents involving high school hazing in smaller communities, including in states that we normally don’t think of as having “big city” problems like hazardous hazing.
A high school in Brunswick, Maine, illustrates the point. Brunswick, with a population of just over 20,000, is like many smaller communities from coast to coast in the United States in that high school football is a proverbial “big deal” for the town’s residents. As a result, the people of Brunswick were stunned to learn that the football season for the local high school was cancelled for the remainder of the season.
The Brunswick High School football season was brought to an unceremonious as the result of a hazing scandal. The school’s football team participated in a preseason overnight retreat on August 16-17. The stated purpose of the retreat was team building. Many high school football and other types of athletic programs across the country use overnight retreats such as the one under the microscope in Maine.
The Brunswick High School football team retreat took place at Thomas Point Beach in that community. School district authorities learned of allegations of high school hazing not long after the retreat ended.
In the case of the Brunswick High School hazing, the initial report is that a member of the school’s football team has held down against his will by other team members. Once pinned to the ground, the students had what has been described as sex toy shoved into his mouth.
Following the hazing incident, a game scheduled for September 24 was cancelled. The team did play a game on October 4. Following the October 4 game, all further Brunswick High School games were cancelled for the remainder of the season. The school did note that the cancellation occurred not to punish players but because with player suspension, concerns existed over a lack of player and an inability to safely play with a smaller roster.
As of this time, information about the incident suggests that the student who was orally violated with a sex toy was not physically injured. With that said, a number of questions remain unanswered in regard to this incident of high school hazing:
Were other students subjected to hazing with the sex toy or in some other manner?
Alcohol consumption oftentimes is an integral part of hazing, even on the high school level. Was alcohol involved in the Brunswick High School football team hazing incident?
Was the school or school district aware of prior incidents of high school hazing, including hazing associated with athletic teams?
Action has been taken by the school and school district against some individuals associated with the hazing incident:
A number of team members have been suspended. Their names are not being released because they are minors.
The head coach and the assistant coach initially were suspended.
Ultimately, the head coach was terminated while the assistant coach appears to remain on suspension.
If your son or daughter has been subjected to high school hazing, the legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. A nationwide law practice, we maintain 40 offices located from coast to coast across the country. We can schedule an appointment with a high school hazing lawyer at any one of our offices, at your home, or at any location that works for you. We can schedule an online case evaluation as well. There is no charge for an initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm high school hazing lawyer.
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