Parents & Talking About Hazing
Each year tens of thousands of young men and women get involved at schools and organizations across the country. Whether it’s a marching band, fraternity, sorority, military affiliated group, summer camp, athletic team, or any of the dozens of other student groups, your student is seeking a place to make friends, enjoy social opportunities, practice leadership skills or just try something new.
The majority of student organizations and teams provide amazing, positive experiences for their members. However, some organizations engage in negative behaviors known as hazing – acts of humiliation or demeaning tasks meant to ‘prove’ an individual’s commitment and worthiness to joining a group.
It’s important to take a proactive role in fighting hazing. What some consider ‘tradition’ or ‘paying your dues’ can turn into a truly dangerous or deadly event. Simply put, hazing’s potential for harm – both physical and psychological – is tremendous. Please join us in taking a proactive stance against hazing by talking to your student about hazing as they become involve in student organizations and teams.
What to Look For
Your student may or may not feel comfortable expressing concern directly to you if being hazed. Here are some key things to look for that might help you identify whether or not your student may be experiencing hazing:
- Sudden change in behavior or attitude after joining the organization or team
- Wanting to leave the organization or team with no real explanation
- Sudden decrease in communication with friends and family
- Physical or psychological exhaustion
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained injuries or illness
- Change in sleeping or eating habits
- Withdrawal from normal activities
- Expressed feeling of sadness or feeling of worthlessness
- Increase in secrecy and unwillingness to share details
What to Ask Before They Join an Organization or Team
- What activities do you think you want to be involved in at school?
- Do you know what hazing is?
- How can you stand up or say ‘no’ if it occurs?
- What are resources online or at school you can utilize if you experience hazing?
- Do you know your school’s policies on hazing and consequences if caught?
- Do you know how to report hazing?
What to Ask After They Get Involved On Campus
- What organizations or teams are you involved in?
- How much time are you spending on the organization or team?
- What kinds of activities are involved in joining this group or team? Are you comfortable with all of these? Is there adult supervision and/or approval of these activities?
- Is alcohol involved in any of these activities?
- Have you met the organization’s advisor or coach? Do they approve of these activities?
|Is someone in danger?
||Unsure if it’s hazing?|
Adapted from HazingPrevention.Org.