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Canada school tries to stop hazing

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Excerpt:New students at a Saint John high school start the school year with their faces being coloured with markers by upper-year peers, part of a hazing ritual the principal said has become less severe in the face of an administrative crackdown.Grade 9 students at Simonds High School, called rookies, are traditionally initiated during the first two weeks of the school year.

School principal Gary Keating told CBC News that stopping hazing has been a priority at the school since he became principal eight years ago.

As part of the crackdown, any student found hazing a new student on school property will be suspended for a day. If caught again, the student will be sent home for the rest of the week.

Despite the punishments, Keating said, some students continue to haze their fellow classmates.

“I have kids myself that have gone through school, and I know that it happens. It’s kind of a ritual,” he said.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of 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 new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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