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Hazing Common Among High School Athletes

Almost half of juniors and seniors report being hazed

According to a survey on hazing of 11th and 12th graders conducted by researchers at Alfred University in western New York (as reported by the Associated Press in August 2000):

  • Almost half reported being hazed, which researchers defined as any humiliating or dangerous act expected of new group members, regardless of willingness to participate.
  • Students were most likely to be hazed by a sports team or gang, but every high school organization except the school newspaper and yearbook staffs reported high levels of hazing.
  • Most students were asked to do humiliating tasks, such as pushing a penny across a school bus floor with their nose, sucking someone's toes, skinny dipping, or drinking foul mixtures such as urine, spoiled milk and eggs. 
  • 1 in 5 said they were put in harm's way or asked to break the law. Dangerous or illegal acts included being beaten, raped or sexually assaulted or assaulting others, stealing, destroying or vandalizing property, drinking alcohol until passing out. 
  • While more than 40 states have anti-hazing laws, many of the laws only cover hazing rituals that result in the risk of serious bodily harm, or apply only at the college level, and the evidence suggests that the laws do not significantly limit hazing.