Hazing is endemic. Consider these statistics:
- 1.5 million high school students are hazed each year, with 79 percent of NCAA athletes reporting they experienced hazing initially in high school.
- 5.5 percent of college students involved in teams or other organizations experience hazing, including 73 percent of social fraternity/sorority members and 79 percent of athletes, that is about 250,000 to 300,000 student-athletes nationwide.
- Since 2004, more than 30 college students have died after hazing, pledging, or initiation activities, often caused by physical exertion, drowning, falls, automobile accidents, alcohol poisoning, or suicide.
- 82 percent of hazing deaths involve excessive amounts of alcohol, although many are underage; fraternity/sorority membership is a significant predictor of binge drinking.
- Fewer than 10 percent of high school students and 5 percent of college students report hazing. Most students who have been hazed did not consider themselves hazed.
- Many say that humiliation and mental stress are necessary to build character. More than one-third believes tolerance of physical pain is valuable, and 46 percent believe adherence to a code of silence is important. That is not Texas law.
The bottom line is that hazing is widespread, endemic, and seemingly invisible, at least until tragedy or death or permanent injury strikes.
Hazing in Texas is defined as
“Hazing” means any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in an organization.
Texas Hazing Laws are enacted in Texas Education Code, Chapter 37.
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