As others see it: No place for hazingAs is true with bullying, no school should tolerate incidents of hazing. Activities associated with the initiation ritual of hazing within high school athletic teams are nothing more than victimization of students through physical and mental abuse
By: Sioux City Journal, Worthington Daily Globe
As is true with bullying, no school should tolerate incidents of hazing.
Activities associated with the initiation ritual of hazing within high school athletic teams are nothing more than victimization of students through physical and mental abuse. They should be unacceptable to administrators, teachers, coaches, parents and student-athletes.
In recent months, incidents involving wrestlers at four Iowa high schools, including Sioux City North, have renewed discussion within our state about hazing and served as wake-up calls to school officials of the need for vigilance in this area.
We applaud school districts, including our local district, who undertake strong, sustained pro-active efforts to prevent problems of hazing and bullying because no student should be subjected to behavior of this kind. As Kelly Manker, athletics director at Woodbury Central High School in Moville, Iowa, commendably framed his district’s position for a story by Nick Hytrek in the Feb. 5 Journal: “We have zero tolerance for what’s called initiation. Anything that’s physically or emotionally harmful is not accepted.”
It’s incumbent on school personnel to establish and reinforce policies and messages about hazing, but parents and the general public need to support them. The public should partner with schools. Parents of student-athletes should talk with their kids about hazing, ask them questions and share information with them. Everyone should put aside whatever nonchalant nonsense he or she might possess about how “boys will be boys” or about how hazing is nothing more than horseplay. As a community, we all share responsibility.
This isn’t complicated. Schools, supported by parents, student-athletes and the public, must send this message in loud, unequivocal and frequent fashion: no place exists in our high school athletic programs for hazing activities. Students need to understand hazing is wrong, won’t be tolerated and will result in swift and severe punishment, including the possibility of criminal charges.