Two parents have demanded an end to hazing in all schools nationwide after their Black son was beaten by 20 high school football players in a locker room. Though hazing — often synonymous with bullying behaviors that seek to degrade, humiliate or place emotional or physical risk on someone in joining a particular social group — is most associated with college fraternities and sororities, its presence in high school sports has become increasingly frequent.
Suspensions and assault charges were filed against four of the students at Davidson High School in Mobile, Alabama, after they hurt their teammate Rodney Kim Jr., CBS Sports reported. Kim, the team’s 14-year-old quarterback, suffered a broken arm, busted lip and bruises during the April 27 hazing incident, a graphic video revealed.
His parents, hurt by what their son has gone through with this single incident, have also sued the Mobile County Board Of Education for $12 million, AL. com reported.
They also want the school to forfeit all football games in the 2018 season, all football coaches to be fired and all 20 football players involved in the beating to be criminally charged, Kim’s mother, told AL.com. Kim won’t be returning to Davidson, either.
School officials have defended the coaches, saying they went to break up the attack. However, Kim’s mother isn’t buying that, as hazing is more prevalent in schools than previously known.
A junior varsity Lacrosse team at Kent Island, a high school in Stevensville, Maryland, canceled its season after a video of a locker room hazing assault involving its players surfaced last month, USA Today High School Sports reported.
Also, police in Fairfax County, Virginia, investigated allegations that some players on a high school baseball team had hazed people last month. The team’s coach at West Potomac High School in Alexandria ended up resigning, WTOP, a Washington, D.C. news outlet, reported.
Hazing statistics are also startling: Forty-seven percent of students said they were hazed in high school, according to a report from Stop Hazing. Sixteen percent of students experienced class hazing during so-called initiations into high school.