Hazing News

Hammond lawsuit against school officials: Chicago Tribune

Here is an excerpt

The lawsuit, filed in Lake County Superior Court in September and moved to federal court this week, claims the players grabbed the boy, took him to the shower and sexually assaulted him. The hazing ritual was known to players as “The V” or “The Violation,” according to the suit.

Coaches did not properly supervise players, despite having a coaches’ office in the locker room, the lawsuit claims, and they were aware of past hazing on the team but failed to “take appropriate corrective measures.”

Younger athletes also were left vulnerable by using the same locker rooms as high school players, the lawsuit stated.

The father is seeking unspecified damages.

“We can’t let this continue to happen,” said Hammond attorney Alex Mendoza, representing the student’s father. “The school has to be held responsible for not protecting” him.

The suit names Superintendent Walter Watkins, Clark Principal Robert Wilson, coaches Stefen Hutchins and Marcos Campos, and multiple students in the suit. The Post-Tribune is not naming players, because they are juveniles.

The Juvenile Division of the Lake County Prosecutor’s office declined to say if criminal charges had been filed in the case.

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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