Editorials: Hazing

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Last year I editorialized passionately about the need to address and stop bullying focusing primarily on children and adolescents.  Unfortunately, bullying doesn't stop when you graduate from High School.  It continues to take place under a different name and in most cases is a "traditionally accepted" practice.  What I'm referring to is hazing.

Today we know that hazing extends far beyond college fraternities and is experienced by boys/men and girls/women in school groups, university organizations, athletic teams, the military, and other social and professional organizations.

Hazing by definition is any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain status in a group) that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the persons willingness to participate.

Am I missing something here?  Why would any school, university, organization or government entity who knows this is taking place let the practice continue?  People are losing their lives.

So here's our recommendation.  Make it known today - University President, coach, band leader, military officer, fraternity and sorority leader that there will be zero tolerance for any act that demeans, degrades or humiliates another human being.  If future occurrences take place then immediate action will be taken.  It's time to close the chapter on this practice whose time has long come and gone. This should be an easy one – do something today.

We appreciate and encourage your feedback.

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