Over on the WQAD website they are talking about a recent assault on a student, perpetrated by fellow school athletes. The story is sparse in details – but it claimed that two of the attackers held down the victim while a third attacker placed his genitals on the victims face while they were also verbally humiliating the victim. Two seniors and one junior have been arrested and charged for the attack. The two seniors were charged as adults and the junior was charged as a juvenile. The individual they attacked was a freshman. The WQAD readership seems to have varied views on how to deal with the arrested students. Some want to slap them on the hands and say “boys will be boys”. Others want to throw the book at the three students for their actions.
Sadly the “boys will boys” statements are all to familiar of an occurrence. For some reason, despite the negativity and possible harms involved, it seems that school hazing rituals continue in one form or another. Some hazing events are well-intentioned welcome to the club trials, others are viciously crafted attacks/torments to drive away competition. Which column this event falls under, is not evident from information given in the article or reader comments. But I strongly disagree with those that say the students should just be slapped on the hand for their possible hazing actions. I have known of so-called “well-intentioned” hazing events that took place over the years, which affected the victims with extreme emotional and/or physical distress. And in most cases the high school students involved in the events received a “bad boy” condemnation or had their hands slapped by getting suspended from school for a short-time and/or temporarily relieved of their athletic privileges. The closest to a serious high school punishment I can remember, involved not a hazing, but a group of jocks that were involved in a disputed non-consensual “boys will be boys” sexual activity. But the jocks were all well-connected and the girl involved had a tramps reputation, so the jocks simply got suspended from school and school athletics for the remainder of the season, but all was forgiven come the following spring. Hardly a fitting punishment considering the age of the girl! The fourteen-year-old girl/victim involved was basically kicked to the side of the road by the system. Hazing perpetrators generally received even less punishment. Hand-slapping was not the proper punishment then, it is not the proper punishment now. Hazing has the potential to become a devastating event for the victim. It is a stupid is, as stupid does moment for the perpetrators and they/all potential hazers/bullies need to be sent a message that hazing and/or physical attacks are not an act to be tolerated.