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Hazing in American High Schools

  • Date Submitted: 10/12/2010 10:41 AM
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Hazing in American High Schools
Deric Moser
ANT 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Wendell Johnson
August 3, 2009

Hazing in American High Schools
Everyone has either seen someone being picked on, been picked on, or have been the one giving someone else a hard time while in high school. The horrible truth is the act of hazing is a very real concern within American high school culture. Hazing goes by many names including: initiation, freshman hunt, and the welcome wagon. The sad truth is the existence and evolution of these rituals in American high schools, can cause psychological and physical abuse to so many teens every year. Although hazing can be a terrible act, it is, unfortunately, a part of the American high school culture.
  What is hazing? Hazing occupies many different definitions. The website stophazing.org describes hazing as, “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.” One of the reasons there are so many definitions of hazing is due to the “inconsistent” state laws on the issue. (Hollmann, 2002) Currently forty-four states have anti-hazing laws, the majority of, which are not similar, and the remainder have no laws in place for the issue. For example, the state of Wisconsin definition of hazing is, “any activity, which is a condition of initiation or admission into or affiliation with an organization, regardless of a student's willingness to participate in the activity.” (Wisconsin statute 948.51) While Florida’s definition is, “any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for purposes including, but not limited to, initiation or admission into or affiliation with any organization operating under the sanction of a postsecondary institution.” (Florida statute 1006.63)
    The American high...

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