Our law offices have been getting more and more calls about high school and middle school hazing incidents. While hazing must not be tolerated at any age, it is even more alarming that it is becoming more common and brutal at younger ages. Approximately 1.5 million high school students are the victims of hazing each year, yet according to studies a very small percentage report the incident.
Hazing has been entrenched in our culture as a bonding ritual, but this is a myth. Hazing actually weakens, rather than builds a team. It leads to low self-confidence, mistrust, apathy and alienation. It is important to teach the dangers of hazing--hazing rituals have led to severe injuries and death. In New York, hazing is a crime and those who witness hazing should report the incident to officials.
Can You Sue For Pain and Suffering?
We have been asked by parents if they can sue for any injuries as well as pain and suffering due to a hazing incident. If your son or daughter is assaulted--and hazing is an assault--you have the right to sue the responsible party. A school has an obligation to keep your child safe, and if you don't think they lived up to that expectation than you have a right to sue then as well as the assailants and any other responsible parties--such as a club or organization.
If this was a college fraternity hazing, did the school already know there was an issue with hazing and choose to ignore it? Did they have ample security? If the hazing was from a fraternity, sorority or local chapter of a club, you may also be able to sue the organization if they in any way were aware of hazing in their organization and did not act to ensure their members' safety.
If your child was the victim of hazing, our experienced and compassionate lawyers can help you understand your legal rights and get the compensation deserved for any medical bills as well as pain and suffering. Contact us for a free consultation and we will answer all your questions and let you know what you can expect from the legal process.