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Hazing

A High School Tradition or Illegal Activity?

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Hazing found in schools today is unlike anything I remember from my youth. Hazing today isn't just about harmless pranks. StopHazing.org lists three kinds of hazing: subtle hazing, harassment hazing and violent hazing. This is serious stuff. Hazing used to be confined to colleges. It's now a regular occurrence in high school activities, clubs and athletics. Read High School History of Hazing for the alarming details. So, with that background let's look at high school hazing in depth.

Why Does Hazing Exist?

Hazing exists because parents, teachers and students permit it to exist. That may sound very harsh but unfortunately it is true. Parents need to demand that hazing be met with zero tolerance. Teachers must not look the other way and ignore traditions. Students have to speak up and tell an adult when they see or hear of any form of hazing. It's that simple. Only YOU can end hazing. Remove hazing from the list of high school traditions. Emphasize that hazing is an illegal activity and will not be tolerated.

Learn About Hazing
Start with High School Hazing: When Rites Become Wrongs by Hank Nuwer. Professor Nuwer examines the subject thoroughly. His book should be in every school's library.

Hazing is Illegal
Hazing is illegal in most states. Only Alaska,Montana, South Dakota, Hawaii, New Mexico and Wyoming don't have anti-hazing laws. The legal ramifications of hazing are enormous. Learn how to protect your school with a zero tolerance policy and proactive education about hazing. Assume nothing. Even if you think your school is clean, you need to discuss the subject, lay out the ground rules and enforce them unequivocally.

Read some students' experiences with hazing on page 2. My interview with Professor Nuwer follows on pages 3-5.

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