Hazing remains a part of school culture

9 Oct

Babson College reported the following hazing statistics in Important Hazing Statistics:

According to national statistics from insidehazing.com.
•More than 250,000 students experienced some sort of hazing to join a college athletic team.1
•5% of all college students admit to being hazed.2
•40% admit to knowing about hazing activities.2
•40% report that a coach or club advisor was aware of the hazing.2
•22% report that the coach or advisor was involved in the hazing.2
•50% of the female NCAA Division I athletes reported being hazed.3
•More than 20% of female NCAA athletes were subjected to alcohol-related hazing; however even a higher percentage admitted to “mental hazing” which ranged from singing to being kidnapped.3
•10% of the female NCAA athletes were physically hazed including being branded, tattooed, beaten thrown in water of having their head forcibly shaved.3
•6-9% of the female NCAA athletes were subjected to sexually related hazing including harassment, actual assault or being expected to simulate sex activities.3
•Alcohol consumption, humiliation, isolation, sleep- deprivation, and sex acts are hazing practices common across types of student groups.
•There are public aspects to student hazing including: 25% of coaches or organization advisors were aware of the group’s hazing behaviors; 25% of the behaviors occurred on-campus in a public space; in 25% of hazing experiences, alumni were present; and students talk with peers (48%, 41%) or family (26%) about their hazing experiences.
•In more than half of the hazing incidents, a member of the offending group posts pictures on a public web space.
•Students recognize hazing as part of the campus culture; 69% of students who belonged to a student activity reported they were aware of hazing activities occurring in student organizations other than their own.
•Students report limited exposure to hazing prevention efforts that extend beyond a “hazing is not tolerated” approach.
•47% of students come to college having experienced hazing.
•Nine out of ten students who have experienced hazing behavior in college do not consider themselves to have been hazed.
•29% of Greek leaders are concerned with the overuse of alcohol during pledge activities.4
•36% say they would not report a hazing primarily because “there’s no one to tell” and 27% feel that “adults won’t handle it right.”1
•Students are more likely to be hazed if they knew an adult who was hazed.1
1.Alfred Univeristy Study, Dr. Norm Pollard,
Dr. Elizabeth Allen, et. al, 1999
2.National Study of Student Hazing (prelim),
Dr. Elizabeth Allen and Dr. Mary Madden 2006
3.Dissertation, Dr. Colleen McGlone, 2005
4.Insidehazing, Dr. Susan Lipkins, 2006

Hazing occurs all over the country in high school and college settings.

John Higgins reported in the Seattle Times article, 11 Garfield students ‘banned’ in hazing case:

The Seattle school district has “banned” 11 Garfield High School students suspected of participating in a recent off-campus hazing incident until officials decide whether further discipline is warranted.
The students were told Friday not to return to class on Monday. Such “emergency expulsions” generally don’t last longer than two weeks, said Seattle Public Schools spokeswoman Teresa Wippel.
“It’s not an official disciplinary action. It just removes students from the school environment while the investigation is being conducted,” she said. “They are banned from coming on campus, and they also can’t participate in any sports or extracurricular activities while they’re emergency expelled. So they’re not supposed to have any contact with Garfield at all.”
Generally, Wippel said, “Ten days is the most that we would keep anybody out. And during that time, we do encourage the students to do their classwork at home and to keep on top of their work by corresponding with their teachers.”
Eight of the 11 students also have been identified by Seattle police as suspects in the incident, Wippel said.
Garfield Principal Ted Howard and a group of police officers broke up a large student gathering after school on Sept. 27 at the Washington Park Arboretum. They discovered underclassmen were being paddled, wearing diapers, having eggs thrown at them and shoe polish put on them.
In an email to parents, Howard said the group of about 100 students was drinking “hard alcohol and beer.” After he arrived, several shouted profanities as they ran away, including one who tossed a racial slur at Howard, who is African American. At least one fender-bender accident occurred nearby, caused by the fleeing students running in front of cars, Howard said.
Howard recognized some of the students’ faces, though others ran before he could identify them, and some were wearing disguises, Wippel said.
The school’s website says hazing is not tolerated, will result in suspension and that acts of hazing “will be considered criminal offenses and treated as such.” Incidents are reported “to ALL college school applications and/or work references” of those involved, the website says.
It’s not clear how many students were subjected to the hazing, but students and school officials have made clear that these types of incidents, known as “froshing,” are nothing new at the school. Wippel characterized it as a “tradition” at Garfield.
Student Body President Kellen Bryan confirmed that: It happens twice a year, he said — on Fridays before the homecoming and “purple and white” weekends. The student government doesn’t condone it. In fact, it provides alternatives, such as free barbecues, specifically to discourage students from taking part, Bryan said.
Another senior said it’s so pervasive in the school culture that some feel as though the only way to join clubs and meet upperclassmen is by first going through the “froshing.”

Hazing is a complex set of behaviors.

Hazing Prevention.org defines What is hazing?

Hazing is any action taken or situation created intentionally:
•that causes embarrassment, harassment or ridicule
•risks emotional and/or physical harm
•to members of an group or team
•whether new or not
•regardless of the person’s willingness to participate
Still confused? Ask yourself these questions:
•Would I feel comfortable participating in this activity if my parents were watching?
•Would we get in trouble if the Dean of Students walked by?
•Am I being asked to keep these activities a secret?
•Am I doing anything illegal?
•Does participation violate my values or those of my organization?
•Is it causing emotional distress or stress of any kind to myself or others?
•If someone were injured, would I feel comfortable being investigated by the insurance carrier?
•When I apply for jobs, can I take the onus of having a criminal arrest on my record?
An excellent article about the complex nature of hazing was published by Diverse Issues in Higher Education (2009).
What’s “bystander behavior?”
Bystander behavior is what people demonstrate when they watch hazing occur without intervening.
What’s the difference between hazing and bullying?
The difference between hazing and bullying is subtle. The same power dynamics are involved. The same intimidation tactics are used. The same second-class citizenship issues arise. The only real difference between bullying and hazing is that bullying can happen to anyone, anytime and is used as a means to exclude someone. Hazing is an instrument of including people by having them earn their way into a group, occurring only in the context of being new to an organization, team or group. Bullying is about exclusion; hazing, inclusion….. http://www.hazingprevention.org/hazing-information/hazing-definitions.html

Stop Hazing.org lists types of hazing behavior:

The following are some examples of hazing divided into three categories: subtle, harassment, and violent. It is impossible to list all possible hazing behaviors because many are context-specific. While this is not an all-inclusive list, it provides some common examples of hazing traditions.
More Examples.

Behaviors that emphasize a power imbalance between new members/rookies and other members of the group or team. Termed “subtle hazing” because these types of hazing are often taken-for-granted or accepted as “harmless” or meaningless. Subtle hazing typically involves activities or attitudes that breach reasonable standards of mutual respect and place new members/rookies on the receiving end of ridicule, embarrassment, and/or humiliation tactics. New members/rookies often feel the need to endure subtle hazing to feel like part of the group or team. (Some types of subtle hazing may also be considered harassment hazing).
Some Examples:
• Deception
• Assigning demerits
• Silence periods with implied threats for violation
• Deprivation of privileges granted to other members
• Requiring new members/rookies to perform duties not assigned to other members
• Socially isolating new members/rookies
• Line-ups and Drills/Tests on meaningless information
• Name calling
• Requiring new members/rookies to refer to other members with titles (e.g. “Mr.,” “Miss”) while they are identified with demeaning terms
• Expecting certain items to always be in one’s possession
B. HARASSMENT HAZING: Behaviors that cause emotional anguish or physical discomfort in order to feel like part of the group. Harassment hazing confuses, frustrates, and causes undue stress for new members/rookies. (Some types of harassment hazing can also be considered violent hazing).
Some Examples:
• Verbal abuse
• Threats or implied threats
• Asking new members to wear embarrassing or humiliating attire
• Stunt or skit nights with degrading, crude, or humiliating acts
• Expecting new members/rookies to perform personal service to other members such as carrying books, errands, cooking, cleaning etc
• Sleep deprivation
• Sexual simulations
• Expecting new members/rookies to be deprived of maintaining a normal schedule of bodily cleanliness.
• Be expected to harass others
C. VIOLENT HAZING : Behaviors that have the potential to cause physical and/or emotional, or psychological harm.
Some Examples:
• Forced or coerced alcohol or other drug consumption
• Beating, paddling, or other forms of assault
• Branding
• Forced or coerced ingestion of vile substances or concoctions
• Burning
• Water intoxication
• Expecting abuse or mistreatment of animals
• Public nudity
• Expecting illegal activity
• Bondage
• Abductions/kidnaps
• Exposure to cold weather or extreme heat without appropriate protection

In order to prevent hazing, schools and parents need to have acceptable means of induction into a group.

Respect the Game suggests the following:

Schools should take steps to stop hazing. Here are some suggestions:
Educate all coaches, students, parents, and other district employees about hazing awareness and the dangers of hazing.
Take seriously and investigate all rumors and reports of hazing.
Implement a strict anti-hazing policy and include a hazing section in the Athletic Code of Conduct that includes repercussions that are as serious as the act of hazing (e.g., suspension from team) that is to be signed by the student athletes and their parents.
Hold coaches responsible for what occurs on their team; do not let them plead ignorance. Hold them accountable and if they suspect hazing and do nothing about it, the coach should be aware that their job is at-risk.
Create alternative team building or spirit-building activities or traditions that carry a positive message (e.g., volunteering at a race for charity, going to a ropes/challenge course, or building a brick wall piece-by-piece as team goals are met).

Hank Nuwer, author of High School Hazing: When Rites Become Wrongs and three other books on hazing, suggested the following in the ABC News report, How to Stop Hazing:

Help establish welcome programs for first-year and transfer students. Rites of passage are integral and valuable in welcoming new members to a group or students to a school, but mentoring programs are more constructive than pledging rituals.
Reconsider all traditions in all school groups. The school choir is just as likely as the football team to have its own traditions. Faculty members need to be aware of what goes on in each group.
Urge your school to adopt a statement of awareness. Signing a written statement agreeing to a specific policy raises awareness of hazing and instills a sense of accountability in all participants.
Foster a spirit of camaraderie. One form of hazing is having younger students perform chores like carrying equipment. Everyone should share in these responsibilities so a better team spirit is created.
Require supervision at all group functions. Simply having an adult or teacher present at all times can go a long way in deterring hazing and preventing groups of kids from getting out of hand.
Don’t cover up hazing incidents. A “conspiracy of silence” often feeds off itself and becomes difficult to stop. If an episode of hazing is witnessed, it should be reported immediately so it can be dealt with right away.
Eliminate the risk of hazing. Only a zero-tolerance attitude will create an environment in which hazing is not accepted. Letting episodes slide is counter-productive to stopping hazing.
Contact hazing activists for guidance. Don’t lead the crusade alone. Anti-hazing activists and groups are there to assist those less experienced in fighting a widespread problem.
Don’t confuse discipline with abuse. Working hard, fostering teamwork, enforcing rules and learning fundamentals are all part of discipline and should be accepted by players and students. Shoving or verbally taunting someone is abuse and should never be tolerated by anyone. http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=90209&page=1

As with many problems, the key is early diagnosis and intervention with appropriate action to discourage hazing. Purposeful harm to another person is never acceptable.


Ohio State University study: Characteristics of kids who are bullies https://drwilda.com/2012/03/13/ohio-state-university-study-characteristics-of-kids-who-are-bullies/

Dr. Wilda Reviews: children’s book: ‘Bully Bean’ https://drwilda.com/2013/08/18/dr-wilda-reviews-childrens-book-bully-bean/

Kids need to tell teachers and schools when they are bullied https://drwilda.com/2013/04/08/kids-need-to-tell-teachers-and-schools-when-they-are-bullied/

Massachusetts Aggression Center study: Cyberbullying and elementary school children https://drwilda.com/2013/07/30/massachusetts-aggression-center-study-cuberbullying-and-elementary-school-children/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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8 Responses to “Hazing remains a part of school culture”


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