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Blood Pinning: New Mexico

The Associated Press

ROSWELL, N.M.—The New Mexico Military Institute has suspended two cadets for hazing first-year students in a ritual dubbed “blood bars.”NMMI public information officer Carl Hansen said that because of privacy laws, the school will not reveal the identities of the cadets suspended last Friday and Wednesday.

Last week’s hazing centers around metal pins signifying a student’s status as a yearling, Hansen said.

The Roswell Daily Record reported that the bar-shaped pins, about an inch long with two sharp metal prongs, are pushed into the skin of a cadet’s chest. The pins are then slapped and twisted.

Hansen said it’s not uncommon for as many as five older cadets to take turns striking the pin.

The investigation is continuing and any other cadets found to have participated in hazing will face similar disciplinary action, he said.

The suspended cadets have the option of reapplying to the school, Hansen said.

NMMI won’t tolerate hazing, said the commandant of cadets, Brig. Gen. Richard Geraci.

“Physical hazing is much too serious and dangerous, both for the cadet doing the hazing and the person being hazed, for me and NMMI to turn a blind eye,” he said.

Hansen said


the victims of hazing are being counseled by school staff, and are being told “that this was wrong and should never have happened.”———

Information from: Roswell Daily Record,

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--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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