Hazing, Consuming College Life

Hazing rituals can present serious problems at campuses across the country, undermining the value of school experiences for many students, and at times leading to serious injuries, even death. Hazing prevention has recently moved to the forefront of the minds of many concerned educators, coaches and parents. Key elements in addressing such issues include education about the serious potential hazards of such activities, as well as delineation of consequences for contravention of anti-hazing rules and laws.

Schools country-wide have cracked down on hazing. After the recent hazing-induced death of a band member from Florida A&M University, Governor Rick Scott is now calling for a reevaluation of universities’ hazing and harassment policies. Scott stated that, “Regardless of the conclusions following the investigation, hazing should be strictly condemned on our college and university campuses and by any organization associated directly or indirectly with our institutions.” He is requesting that Florida’s eleven public universities review their procedures to gain assurance that it is clear to everyone that “hazing and any other form of harassment will not be tolerated under any circumstance”. The school board currently requires that every school have an anti-hazing prevention program or policy; Scott, however, feels that current policies are insufficient. A study shows that nearly 50% of students experienced hazing before even stepping foot on college campuses.

 There are a wide variety of litigation claims that can serve to address grievances by those who have suffered from discrimination, including illegal treatment based upon one’s race, religion, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, and handicap. There are many federal and state laws that protect individuals against discrimination and sexual harassment, providing a means, through the civil justice system, to seek money damages for such violations.

 If you believe you have been a victim of hazing and/or harassment, and would like to speak with a personal injury litigation attorney, please contact us. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights. To learn more about what we can do for you, arrange an appointment with one of the litigation attorneys in our Boston office by calling (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

 By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

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