Hazing has long been associated with college fraternities, but recent high-profile news stories of hazing in the military, in a college marching band, at workplaces and in high schools and even middle schools shows that this humiliating and often abusive ritual is a widespread practice in our society.
The Dangers of Hazing
On an American army base in Afghanistan, eight army soldiers were charged in the death of Private Danny Chen, who died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds after being the victim of what family members described as a campaign of nonstop hazing. According to relatives, the soldiers pulled Private Chen out of bed, dragged him across the floor, and forced him to crawl on the ground while they pelted him with rocks and taunted him with ethnic slurs. They then ordered him to do pull-ups with a mouthful of water—while forbidding him from spitting it out.
On a college campus, the death of Robert Champion, 26, the drum major for Florida A&M University’s marching band was ruled a homicide. An investigation found he died of shock due to multiple blunt trauma blows to his chest, arm, shoulder, and back. His death revealed a deep culture of hazing within the school's famed marching band.
It's important for parents and students to understand the dangers and widespread problem of hazing. Hazing is a crime that destroys team members and, rather than making groups stronger, it weakens the team/group and should never be tolerated.
Signs to look for in an individual that may be the victim of hazing
- Cutting, branding, labeling, or shaving of parts of the body
- Required to walk in groups, greet members in a specific manner, and/or carry certain items.
- Loss of voice due to having to yell
- Physical exhaustion from being forced to do certain activities, such as multiple sit-ups
- Mental exhaustion, change in personality and/or withdrawal from normal activities
- Not coming home for days or weeks at a time
- Not being able to sit down or soreness from paddling
- Appearance of sadness or expressions of inferiority
- Sleep deprivation due to being forced to participate in late-night work sessions
Were you or a family member the victim of hazing?
Have you, your child or someone you know been the victim of hazing? Hazing is a crime and it is important for victims to know their rights. Our Long Island personal injury lawyers can help answer any questions you have. Contact us for a completely free consultation or to just ask some questions. If you or a family member were victims of hazing, we will work to ensure your rights are protected and help you collect the compensation you deserve for injuries and other damages you suffered. This may include medical bills, pain and suffering, ongoing treatment costs, lost wages and property damage.
Contact us for more information and to find out how to protect your legal rights. Our experienced lawyers understand the difficulty and embarrassment these cases may cause, especially when they involve children. We will treat you with compassion and answer all your question. We have offices conveniently located in East Meadow, Central Islip and mid-town Manhattan.