Hazing News

Oregon tries to curb hazing: The Oregonian


Legislature cracks down on student hazing
Posted by jmapes June 03, 2009 14:32PM

SALEM-A bill that toughens Oregon’s anti-hazing law and extends it to school athletic teams passed the House Wednesday on a unanimous vote and was sent to the governor for his signature.

Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, had pushed for Senate Bill 444, saying that he strongly disagreed with those who believed that hazing was a way to bond team members and build discipline.

The measure defines hazing to include activities that involve “physical brutality,” exposes someone to a risk of injury or threatens their physical health or safety. The bill specifically bans activities that, among other things, includes whipping, beating, sleep deprivation or exposing someone to the elements.

The bill also extends the ban on hazing to elementary and secondary schools as well as their sports teams. Most school districts already have anti-hazing bans, although Courtney said that athletic teams were often not covered.

Rep. Sherrie Sprenger, R-Scio, who carried the bill in the House, sought to assure legislators that it did not cover many traditional activities used in initiation rites.

“This bill isn’t about what has been referred to as a rite of passage,” said Sprenger. “This is about events that go too far.”

–Jeff Mapes;

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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