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High School and Hazing: Is This a New Normal for Our Kids?

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: May 31, 2013 | Categories: Children, Family and Health, Guest Posts, Parenting

Guest Post

high school hazingPhoto Credit

Hazing is no longer about a harmless college prank as a means to get into a particular club, sport or organization. Hazing is now a regular occurrence in high schools and has included three styles that include harmless, harassing and criminal behaviors. Unfortunately, until coaches, teachers and parents stop looking the other way, this abhorrent trend won’t go away.

What is Hazing?

Hazing is an activity that is meant to demean, degrade and humiliate an individual who would like to join a group, sporting event, or organization. Regardless if they are willing to participate, the initiation process is typically performed by higher ups in the group.

Once thought to be solely a college prank, hazing is now reaching children and high school age young adults at an earlier age. This form of abuse can cause physical and emotional harm to an individual. In worse case scenarios, some unknowing victims have been injured or died. Hazing is especially popular with wrestling, baseball, cheerleading, football and basketball teams.

Why Does Hazing Still Exist?

Parents, teachers, coaches, and school administrators allow hazing to go on because it was once thought to be a harmless ritual. Sadly, hazing in high schools around the states have gotten out of hand and countless victims are suffering needless injuries and even death. Not only must this tradition be met with zero tolerance, students need to speak up and report it to someone who will listen.

Forms of Hazing Traditions

High school hazing traditions have been found in many sporting and social arenas today. The news and media have documented a number of cases that included high school bands, honor students, athletic teams, cheerleading and social organizations. Some common examples include the following:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Sodomy
  • Forced alcohol consumption
  • Being cursed or yelled at
  • Forced shaving of the head and body
  • Inflicted violence
  • Public nudity
  • Burning of the skin

Well-Known Cases

A well-known hazing incident involving students from Rye High School in New York City has charged several students with assault, hazing, and unlawful imprisonment in this unfortunate case.

As a part of the ritual, high school students rounded up eighth graders and brutally paddled them. The beating was captured on videotape and showed the high school students kidnapping the innocent victims, forcing them into a car and driving them to a desolate wildlife conservancy for the beating.

The victims were pummeled with pieces of lumber, causing injuries to the student’s legs and buttocks. One individual was injured so badly he needed to be transported to the hospital for treatment. “Freshman Friday” is a typical tradition and touted by many students as a common occurrence that most students expect to undergo.

Getting the Word Out

This recent New York case of abuse is just one example of the dangerous increase of high school ritual initiation incidents. With the influx of group abuse on the rise it is imperative to get the word out. A great way to bring attention to this phenomenon is to have medical professionals or an attorney New York NY based firm to launch a campaign against the crime of hazing.

These representatives could be guest speakers at local high schools and community centers around the city. By having doctors and attorneys explain the legal aspects of hazing, as well as  the various types of injuries ER doctors and nurses are seeing on a regular basis, parents can become more informed about these new dangers to the kids in their community. This is one way to get more parents and educators actively involved in hopes of curbing this violent behavior.

Hazing at any age can be a serious physical and mental form of abuse, and the consequences are becoming quite severe. This especially holds true if a serious injury or fatality has occurred.

A major part of the problem is the lack of understanding regarding this practice and how it’s seen in the eyes of the students. Many individuals with power, such as parents, coaches and administrators, fail to confront the behaviors because they have been going on for so long and are seen as a tradition.

In reality, hazing is a form of brutality and abuse, and high schools and colleges can get involved by implementing an anti-hazing campaign as a form of prevention.

Jamica Bell is a freelance writer and blogger relating these facts about recent injuries in high school hazing. David Perecman is the founder and partner of an attorney New York NY based firm. Mr. Perecman has fought relentlessly to defend countless personal injury victims and their families for over 30 years. His experience has earned him numerous awards.

24 Responses to High School and Hazing: Is This a New Normal for Our Kids?

    • Jamica says:

      I agree Elaina! Scary when you think of how early this type of thing shapes teens for college life, in the negative!

  1. Hazing is bullying to me. It shouldn’t be allowed.

  2. I hate it with a burning passion. Growing up is hard enough without bullies ruining what should be the most exciting time in a child’s life.

  3. Maryann says:

    that is outrageous. It is something I fear for my boys and makes me consider homeschooling.

  4. I agree with Elaina, that’s crazy!

  5. Kathleen says:

    Oh my! I really hope it isn’t the new normal, as my oldest will be headed to highschool in a few years. Don’t know what I am going to do if this is still going on.

  6. This is unbelievable — I’m glad that wasn’t present in the school where I taught. I hope it isn’t a part of the culture by the time my kids are in high school.

  7. Leilani says:

    I just don’t understand why kids do this. I hope this is not a problem when my kids reach high school age.

  8. Theresa says:

    To me, this is bullying.

  9. Angela says:

    There is no place for hazing in high school. It is bullying and should be dealt with as such.

  10. Julie Wood says:

    This is so awful that more is not done about Hazing. Young people are dying because of this terrible practice. Just last week in the news two college students were drowned! It was a hazing incident where the two college boys were to walk across a stream, they both fell in from the fast moving water and now they are gone, and their families have to suffer! Hazing kills people, and it needs to be stopped!

  11. Wow, this is insane. When will people learn how much harm this causes.

  12. Lolo says:

    Yikes, this scares me!

  13. So scary! I dread this!

  14. They did this at the high school my kids went to to the incoming freshman. They picked them out as they walked into the school on day one. My kids were fortunate because they entered through the band room so they never had to face the possibility of being singled out.

    In any case, this is something that shouldn’t be tolerated at all.

  15. Tammy says:

    Wow – we just listened to a radio show the other day that said 86% of 12 to 17 year olds get bullied during those years – I would say hazing is group bullying! That’s so sad, it’s one of the many reasons I’m glad we homeschool.

  16. Robin Gagnon says:

    Bullying was bad in high school years ago, but it seems to have gotten even more vicious & far reaching.

  17. Courtney says:

    All this stuff makes me want to homeschool my daughter. I can’t even imagine what it will be like once she’s school aged!

  18. This is so sad. I am going to be vigilant when my son is older so I can watch for signs and nip this in the bud if it happens.

  19. Heather says:

    Hazing is bullying and it needs to stop.I can’t believe school personnell would simply look aside. This is a stupid tradition that needs to stop ASAP!

  20. It’s terrible that kids do this!!

  21. Toni says:

    Hazing is something that no one should ever be okay with. It makes me so angry kids do and get away with this.

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