By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
Hazing is still a serious problem in Florida and the rest of the United States. Clubs, fraternities, gangs, and sports camps all carry with them the danger of hazing. What is hazing? I guess this all depends who you ask. If you ask the hazing victim, hazing involves humiliation, degrading acts, psychological warfare, and physical abuse. If you ask the hazing criminal defendant, hazing is harmless fun that everyone had to go through in order to become part of the club, gang, or program. Like anything else, tradition is no excuse whatsoever for abusing another person. This especially applies to children.
The mental and physical injuries suffered by children who are victims of hazing incidents can often times last a lifetime. This especially applies to victims who have been sexually assaulted or molested.
In Las Vegas, New Mexico, six teens from the Robertson High School football program were charged with conspiracy and other criminal offenses for various hazing incidents at a high school football camp. The criminal acts included sodomizing the new football campers with broomsticks. How any of this relates to learning football skills or becoming a better football player is truly beyond comprehension.
The head coach and other coaches resigned. The quality and extent of supervision are seriously being questioned and should be investigated by police and prosecutors. In addition to a criminal investigation, the family of the victims can retain a personal injury attorney to further investigate the matter to make sure that those responsible (directly or indirectly) for the acts are identified and dealt with through criminal and / or civil proceedings. In addition to criminal charges, the victims of the hazing incidents may have personal injury claims against the school district, camp organizers, and any other entities that created or allowed such abusive incidents to take place. Imagine, parents send their child to football camp and the child comes back sexually assaulted and sodomized with a broomstick. This is truly a tragedy for the child and his family.
Robertson High School has a couple of New Mexico High School State Championships in recent years. Frankly, the horrific acts of sodomizing new recruits overshadows anything showing up in the win or loss column for the team in past years. You can read more about these hazing incidents at New Mexico Teens Charged for Hazing at Football Camp.