Is Hazing a Crime in Your State? Check Out this Anti-Hazing Website

By Doyice Cotten

6823991500_b90b03cce9Any risk management program should give attention to the prevention of hazing. This traditional, seemingly harmless activity is in the news almost every day: New hazing exposed; A trial commences; Teachers fired; Children killed, seriously injured, or psychologically damaged. But many in positions of authority allow this dangerous tradition to continue.

Well, such people should be aware that hazing is no longer something to chuckle about. No longer can they safely ignore hazing or criticize the kid who complains. Hazing is a crime in 44 states – granted the law is still awfully weak in most states. Risk managers, professionals, and administrators need to become familiar with the laws in their states and see that they are abided by.

An informative website ( that gives the statutes in each state is available. Unfortunately, the legislatures in six western states (Alaska, Montana, Hawaii, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Wyoming) are still blissfully and ignorantly ignoring the problem. “If we ignore it, it will go away,” appears to be their attitude.

For those who are not quite sure what hazing is, the website defines it as

Hazing refers to any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.

The website not only gives the laws in each state, but has information on such topics as:

  • Myths and Facts
  • Types of hazing
  • Resources
  • How to bring about change
  • And much more.