Bullying comes in many shapes and forms, some of which have sadly become an accepted part of American culture. Most of society has turned against the more dangerous forms of bullying at elementary schools and high schools, but colleges still seem to view the harsh treatment of others as part of a rite of passage, and many high school athletics have the same view.
Nowhere is this acceptance of bullying more commonplace than in fraternities, sororities, and on sports teams. While national chapters and the universities themselves insist they are doing what they can to crack down on these abusive behaviors, the evidence makes it difficult to accept that anything is actually being done.
Now, the already tarnished Miss American Pageant has been pulled in to this discussion, after it was revealed that the 2014 winner had a history of aggressive hazing at her sorority in college. This revelation was almost immediately followed by the story of a Clemson student dying after falling off a bridge, an event that might have been caused by hazing or bullying.
It can be difficult to police this type of behavior at the college level. But at the high school level, it should be fairly simple for administrators and coaches to keep this type of thing from occurring. Still, national news stories reveal that hazing and bullying are still epidemic in this country. Examples include:
- Seven seniors paddling six incoming freshmen in Juneau, Alaska
- An incident in Taft, California that led to criminal charges against eight football players
- Three students at an elite New York prep school being charged with sexual assault
- Faculty at Natrona High School being caught hazing other faculty, indicating an acceptance of these behaviors at the institutional level
If you or a loved one has been harmed by hazing at school, it is important to understand your rights. The school must be held liable for allowing these events to occur, or the administration and other school administrations will never put in place the necessary safeguards to keep others from being hurt. Step one is to contact an attorney who can help you obtain the necessary information to protect others.