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The Spread of Hazing in Schools

Cameron Scott and Nick Scott

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Hazing is an issue for kids going through certain forms of “initiation” when joining a new team or group. It has been mostly known to happen amongst colleges within fraternities and sororities, but this is slowly spreading.

Alfred University in New York just came out with a census that states over 2 million teenagers each year are being hazed. Additionally, 48% of students who join any team or group in high school are being hazed. Hazing is not just verbal abuse, but is also physical. In fact, most hazings involve the use of alcohol and severe physical abuse. This is an issue that goes under that radar and doesn’t get much attention. The victims are sworn to secrecy almost 98% of the time hazing occurs. This makes it difficult to make people aware of the dangers that occur during these processes.

The “hazers” see this as a form of initiation, which they believe makes it okay. Hazing first began in South Asia where leaders would welcome a new member into a group by performing rituals, challenges, and other activities involving harassment. This practice then carried on to religious groups, troops in the war, and eventually made its way to to almost every exclusive group in high school and college.

These hazings may be miniscule compared to others, but the fact of the matter is that it is dangerous. It not only puts the victim at risk for injury, but also prevents potential members from wanting to join something that they are interested in.

There have been laws placed against hazing. Although this is just a start to eliminating this process, it still has a very long way to go. One solution is instead of completely getting rid of hazing, simply adjust the ramifications. Rather than doing something harmful, they could find ways and things to do that would genuinely benefit the actual group they are attempting to join. Hazing’s main objective is to express a new member’s respect to the current position holders. It is viewed as a way to gain trust, but over the years has been taken way too far.

For example, in 2011, fourteen marching band members were charged with murder after beating a new member so bad that he went into hemorrhagic shock and died. In 2009, a young man was pledging the fraternity SAE at Cornell participated in a trivia game regarding the fraternities history. Every wrong answer to a question cost him a shot of vodka, resulting in his death by alcohol poisoning. In 2012, two basketball players from Andover High School forced a freshmen to eat consume bodily fluids from other teammates and was forced into the emergency room where he had to get his stomach pumped. 1.5 million high school students are hazed each year, 250,000 college athletes are hazed when joining an athletic team, and yet only 5% of people that were hazed actually admit to it.

The bottom line is that we, as a society, need to stress how important it is that hazing is not acceptable whenever it causes any harm to the person. The traditions can be kept in terms of manner, respect, and safety. It is not fair to completely terminate the process in general, but it is fair to modify it. There have been too many deaths, injuries, and tragedies to continue this practice.

I propose that the group that is performing the hazing must run by the institution first the parameters of the process before it happens. This would prevent any further incidents from happening and hazing would not be completely banned. Keeping traditions is important and that is why this is the safest, most respectful, and fair way to go about this issue.

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1 Comment

One Response to “The Spread of Hazing in Schools”

  1. Matt McAllister on October 15th, 2017 8:01 pm

    Hazing sounds like a terrible thing. If people are hazing then why would anyone want to join that group if you are just going to get hurt.

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The news site of Pope John Paul II High School.
The Spread of Hazing in Schools