July 24, 2016 |
Starting Saturday, middle and high school students in Pennsylvania can be criminally charged for hazing their peers, as new state regulations go into effect following several high-profile incidents at local schools. The state's anti-hazing law had applied only to college students, but in May, Gov. Wolf signed a bill extending its penalties to seventh through 12th graders. The changes kick in just in time for the start of the 2016-17 school year, and about five months after Chester County officials revealed a culture of hazing at Conestoga High School in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District.
May 27, 2016 |
HARRISBURG - Soon, college fraternities and sports teams won't be the only ones who can be punished for hazing. Gov. Wolf signed a bill Tuesday that will broaden Pennsylvania's anti-hazing law to cover middle and high schools, and require districts to adopt and enforce anti-hazing policies. "Children need to be able to come to school and learn, as well as after school," Wolf spokesman Jeff Sheridan said. "Only when they feel safe will they be able to do that. " The push to strengthen the law was spurred by hazing incidents across the state and country that included forced alcohol consumption, sleep-deprivation, humiliation, and sex acts.
April 4, 2016 |
Vincent DiMartini seemed to crystallize the angry skepticism that drew more than 150 people last week to the Conestoga High School auditorium. Conestoga is where three senior football players stand accused of assaulting a freshman teammate by violating him with a broom handle. School officials called the meeting to let parents air concerns and ask questions, even if they couldn't get answers. DiMartini, a retired police officer, asserted that Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan had "sensationalized" what happened that day in the locker room last fall, in a bid to get before the cameras and discredit the top-ranking high school.
March 15, 2016 |
The allegations were horrific: Two football players at an academically elite high school held down a smaller freshman teammate trying to escape a hazing ritual, while a third used a broom handle to penetrate the younger boy's rectum. The three Conestoga High School students were charged with assault, unlawful restraint, and other counts - but not hazing. The lack of a hazing charge was the result of a "glaring omission" in state law, said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan.
March 7, 2016 |
The madness continues. In October 2014, seven football players from Sayreville War Memorial High (N.J.) were accused of brutally hazing four teammates in the locker room. Soon after, it was revealed that Central Bucks West High players had subjected rookies to "humiliating" hazing in a preseason football initiation. And this past week it came to light that a weekly ritual dubbed "No-Gay Thursday" was going on at Conestoga High for at least three years. It was a day when players considered certain sexual behavior permissible.
February 10, 2016
Police are investigating reports of hazing by football players in one of the region's elite school districts. The players are current or former members of the Conestoga High School team, according to the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District in Chester County. "The District places the highest priority on student safety and, to that end, is cooperating in any way it can with law enforcement officials," school officials posted on the district's website. District officials and the Tredyffrin Township Police Department directed questions to the Chester County District Attorney's Office, but DA Tom Hogan declined comment, citing an ongoing investigation.
December 18, 2015 |
Brutal fraternity hazing led to the suicide of a Pennsylvania State University student, according to a lawsuit filed in Philadelphia by his father. Marquise Braham, 18, jumped from the roof of an 11-story hotel on Long Island on March 14, 2014, a day before he was to return to Penn State Altoona and rejoin the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Common Pleas Court by his father, Rich, a senior editor at ABC News, alleges that the fraternity's hazing included choosing between snorting a line of cocaine or being sodomized on video; having guns pointed at the pledges' heads; being burned with candle wax; forcing pledges to fight one another; and forcing them to consume alcohol for the purpose of vomiting.
September 10, 2015
Two former St. Joseph University softball players have settled suits against the school and its varsity coach that alleged hazing and sexual misconduct, according to court papers filed Tuesday. A spokesman for St. Joseph's declined to comment. A lawyer representing the plaintiffs did not return a call for comment. The women filed suit in May and June, alleging that older members bullied and hazed younger members and that both the university and the coach knew and did nothing to stop it. They contended in the suit they were made to drink alcohol and forced to engage in sexually demeaning acts.
August 16, 2015 |
Since it went live in June, a website that contains a petition to end hazing at fraternities, a roster of cases related to physical and sexual abuse in the Greek system, and a plethora of related documents, has drawn brisk traffic. Aaron Freiwald, a creator of endhazingnow.com, says the site is about more than the civil suit filed by his client, James Vivenzio, against Pennsylvania State University and the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity. But the attorney for the fraternity's national organization contends the site is about a lawyer selling his services and is an abuse of something ordinarily out of the public eye - the pretrial discovery process.
May 3, 2015 |
St. Joseph's University has suspended play for its women's varsity softball team for the rest of the season following an internal investigation into allegations of hazing. The team had three games remaining in the season. It's unclear whether the team would have made postseason play. "Due to violations of campus community standards, the women's softball team will not be participating in scheduled contests for the remainder of the season," the university said in a statement Friday.