Hazing News

Body shots death

All: I know it isn’t hazing but figured parents and administrators and police might be interested in this potentially dangerous game.

Unit 5 Superintendent Gary Niehaus says Kingsley Junior High staff and Normal Police did all they could in response to an incident at the school which led to a student’s death last year.

Jasmine Brooks filed a lawsuit against Unit 5 and the Town of Normal last week on the one-year anniversary of son Donnie Hampton Jr.’s death.

The lawsuit claims Hampton and other students were playing a game called ‘body shots’ where students punch one another – before he collapsed and later died.

“I think Kingsley staff had done everything they could have done. I don’t know what more they could have done,” Niehaus said.

Niehaus says he reviewed a videotape of the incident and said a teacher responded to the bathroom in a ‘short time frame.’

Niehaus says the district has since added more security cameras to Kingsley and other schools throughout the district.

Click here to listen to Scott and Colleen’s interview with Niehaus.

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. 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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