Hazing News

Freshman hazing results in Philadelphia arrests of teens

2 Chinese-American students attacked at Bok

Philadelphia Daily News 215-854-5994

About 10 bullies kicked and punched two Asian-American students in between classes Friday morning at Edward W. Bok Technical High School, authorities said.

The attack, which left the immigrant students, ages 14 and 15, with cuts and bruises on their faces, was apparently part of a preplanned freshmen hazing ritual, said Fernando Gallard, spokesman for the school district.

But the hallway rumble wasn’t written off as a boys-will-be-boys coming of age tale. Philadelphia police charged one of the bullies, 14, with assault and related offenses, said police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore. That student has been suspended and could face expulsion, Gallard said.

Although that student is black and both victims are Chinese-Americans, authorities don’t believe the incident was racially motivated, like the violence that plagued Asian students at South Philadelphia High School last year, Gallard said.

Bok officials received calls from parents on Friday morning, Gallard said, about rumors of freshmen hazing that was supposed to unfold at Bok, at 9th and Mifflin streets, and at Edison and George Washington high schools. There were no reported problems at the other schools.

Gallard said the Bok students were set upon on their way to class about 10:15 a.m. as chants of, “Freshmen! Freshmen!” filled the halls. The 14-year-old was pummeled when he tried to come to the aid of his friend.

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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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