Administrative Guideline - 5516 Student Anti-Hazing

Purpose

The purpose of this guideline is to maintain a safe learning environment for all students and staff members at Carmel Clay Schools. Hazing in any form is neither tolerated nor consistent with any educational goals of Carmel Clay Schools.

Examples of “Hazing” activities

 “Hazing” refers to any activity expected of someone joining a student organization that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person's willingness to participate.

Hazing activities are generally considered to be: physically abusive, hazardous, and/or sexually violating. The specific behaviors or activities within these categories vary widely among participants, groups and settings.

Any activity involving personal servitude; sleep deprivation and restrictions on personal hygiene; yelling, swearing and insulting new members/rookies; being forced to wear embarrassing or humiliating attire in public; consumption of vile substances or smearing of such on one's skin; brandings; physical beatings; binge drinking and drinking games; sexual simulation and sexual assault.

Any activity involving the consumption of food, liquid, or substance that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student.

Any activity that intimidates or threatens the student with ostracism, that subjects a student to extreme mental stress, embarrassment, shame or humiliation that adversely affects the mental health or dignity of the student or discourages the student from remaining in school.

Any activity that causes or requires the student to perform a task that involves violation of state or federal law or school district policies or regulations.

Reporting Procedures

Any person who believes he or she has been the victim of hazing or any person with knowledge or belief of conduct which may constitute hazing shall report the alleged acts immediately to an appropriate Carmel Clay school district official designated by this policy.  The building principal or their designee is the person responsible for receiving reports of hazing at the building level.  Teachers, administrators, other school district employees as well as contractors and volunteers shall be particularly alert to possible situations, circumstances or events that might include hazing. Any such person who receives who receives a report of, observes, or has other knowledge or belief of conduct which may constitute hazing shall inform the administration immediately.

Complaints

A Student who feels that he or she has been harassed, bullied or subjected to hazing is invited to discuss his or her concerns with a teacher, coach, or administrator.  There are no express time limits for initiating complaints; however, every effort should be made to bring complaints to the attention of appropriate authorities as soon as possible while memories are fresh and witnesses continue to be available. Complaints will be investigated and where it is determined that a violation has occurred, prompt corrective action will be taken. During the investigation, confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible. Complainants will be offered counseling and other assistance when appropriate and will be informed of the results of any investigation.

School District Action

Student complaints of harassment, bullying or hazing may be brought to any teacher, coach, sponsor or administrator who, after discussing the incident with the student, will contact the principal or their designee.

Upon receipt of a complaint or report of hazing, Carmel Clay Schools shall undertake or authorize an investigation by school district officials or a third party designated by Carmel Clay Schools.

Carmel Clay Schools may take immediate steps, at its discretion, to protect the complainant, reporter, students or others pending completion of an investigation of hazing.

Upon completion of the investigation, Carmel Clay Schools will take appropriate action. Such action may include, but is not limited to, warning, suspension, exclusion or expulsion. Disciplinary consequences will be administered consistently. They will appropriately discipline prohibited behavior and deter others from hazing.  The actions taken by Carmel Clay Schools for violation of this policy will be consistent with other school policies.

Reprisal

Carmel Clay school district will take appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator or other employee of Carmel Clay school district, or any contractor or volunteer who retaliates against anyone who makes a good faith report of hazing, or who testifies, assists or participates in an investigation or hearing about a hazing incident. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment.

 

Myths about Hazing

 

Myth # 1

Hazing is no more than foolish pranks that sometimes go awry.

Fact

Hazing is an act of power and control over others --- it is victimization. Hazing is pre-meditated and NOT accidental. Hazing is abusive, degrading and often life-threatening.

Myth # 2

As long as there's no malicious intent, a little hazing should be O.K.

Fact

Even if there's no malicious "intent" safety may still be a factor in traditional hazing activities that are considered to be "all in good fun." For example, serious accidents have occurred during scavenger hunts and kidnapping trips. Besides, what purpose do such activities serve in promoting the growth and development of group team members?

 

Myth # 3

Hazing is an effective way to teach respect and develop discipline.

Fact

First of all, respect must be EARNED--not taught. Victims of hazing rarely report having respect for those who have hazed them. Just like other forms of victimization, hazing breeds mistrust, apathy and alienation.

Myth # 4

If someone agrees to participate in an activity, it can't be considered hazing.

Fact

In states that have laws against hazing consent of the victim can't be used as a defense in a civil suit. This is because even if someone agrees to participate in a potentially hazardous action it may not be true consent when considering the peer pressure and desire to belong to the group.

Myth # 5

It's difficult to determine whether or not a certain activity is hazing--it's such a gray area sometimes.

 

Fact

It's not difficult to decide if an activity is hazing if you use common sense, make the following inquiries of each activity to determine whether or not it is hazing and ask yourself the following questions:

Will active/current members of the group refuse to participate with the new members and do exactly what they're being asked to do?

Does the activity risk emotional or physical abuse?

Is there risk of injury or a question of safety?

Do you have any reservation describing the activity to your parents, to a teacher or Carmel Clay school official?

Would you object to the activity being photographed for the school newspaper or filmed by the local TV news crew?

 

If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," the activity is probably hazing.

 

Hazing vs. Team Building

 

Hazing

Team Building

Humiliates and degrades

Promotes respect and dignity

Tears down individuals

Supports and empowers

Creates division

Creates real teamwork

Lifelong nightmares

Lifelong memories

Shame and secrecy

Pride and integrity

Is a power trip

Is a shared positive experience!

 

Information Sources:

  • National Collegiate Athletic Association
  • National Federation of State High School Associations