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Zero tolerance for hazing

According to the 2008 National Study of Student Hazing, 47 percent of high school students experience some hazing before graduating.
In a long and illustrious high school varsity athletic career ‘ which encompassed my senior year ‘ I was one of the fortunate teens to have avoided serious hazing.
Oh, sure, I was harassed when I was a freshman. At a svelte 100 pounds, soaking wet, and barely clicking past five feet tall, I was an easy target. There were a couple of kids who tried to put me in a locker one time, and another time someone tried to give me a wedgie.
In both instances, I fought back ‘ using the term loosely ‘ and the older kids were forced to find another, less feisty freshman to pick on. There was no way I was going into a locker and, having seen atomic wedgies delivered to others, that looked painful, if not embarrassing.
Unfortunately, a 14-year-old student at Carmel High School, located north of Indianapolis, wasn’t so fortunate. And hazing doesn’t begin to describe the horrendous actions allegedly delivered to the boy.
According to the attorney for the student, four senior teammates of the victim on the high school’s basketball team held him down, pulled down his pants and then proceeded with a form of ‘anal penetration.’ The attorney said there were at least two attacks on the boy.
Thankfully and appropriately, the four players were arrested and charged with misdemeanor counts of battery and criminal recklessness. If the rumors of what took place are true, they probably could have been charged with sex crimes, too.
So, what can adults do to stop something like this from happening to students here in Harrison County?
Hazing was don’t-ask-don’t-tell before the clich’ became cool. Hazing is something that happens from the top schools to the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder; but rough horseplay as alpha-males attempt to sort the pecking order is completely different than violating another human being.
No policy, no rule, no threat is going to keep teens from doing stupid things to each other. A student at South Central, Lanesville, Corydon Central or North Harrison is just as likely to be the victim of hazing as a student at New Albany, Kokomo, Penn or Carmel.
But, we have to do something. If not, the seriousness of hazing will likely escalate. Those who were hazed become hazers, and they’ll likely want to increase the amount of humility, pain and/or trauma they cause to a fellow student. Hazing isn’t just a prank on another person; it’s a form of domination and victimization.
We have to stop considering hazing being something with no malicious intent and, instead, see it for what it is: abusive, degrading and life-threatening, if not life-altering.
It simply has to stop.