Hazing News

AHA Movement founder Debbie Smith expresses her disappointment over Judge Allen Sinclair’s ruling

 Debbie Smith: AHA Movement statement

I am so disturbed by this judge’s ruling. I don’t understand why they (judges) don’t consider the severity of these acts and how much they can make a difference by treating them as such. It’s almost like he (they) are saying it’s not that serious. A boy is DEAD! When are they ever going to get that it is their responsibility to hold these people accountable for their actions? A drunk driver does not INTEND to kill someone when they get behind the wheel of a car, but when they do they are charged with involuntary manslaughter. What is the difference?


The difference is hazing is planned, it is choreographed, its purpose is to torture and humiliate, to break the pledge, and when someone dies during these very “voluntary” and thought out acts perpetrated against their victims they cry foul. “We didn’t intend to kill him”. You did intend all the acts that lead up to, and caused his death, so like it or not YOU KILLED HIM!


Now put on your big boy pants, get some balls and take responsibility. And parents of these criminals, you are not helping your children by coddling them, they need to learn that what they did is NOT okay. Killing someone is NOT OKAY and you condoning it is NOT OKAY!!! Try putting yourself in the shoes of Timothy’s parents. How would you feel if it was your son who went through everything their son did, and was left to die because he put his trust in “his so” called brothers?


I am not saying send these young men to prison. I am not saying to destroy their lives, but up to a year in jail is not going to KILL them. Force them to participate in Anti-Hazing Awareness programs while they are in jail and during the 3 to 5 years probation. Make them write and read letters of apology out loud in court to Timothy’s parents, and fine the hell out of them.


I promise you this will make them better people. AND, they will still have their whole lives ahead of them, which Timothy does not.


Matt’s Mom ~


“Hug your children and tell them you love them every day!”



“Hug your children and tell them you love them every day!”

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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