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Hazing News

St Albert update

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fourteen Edmonton-area teens are facing dozens of assault charges after they allegedly used broken goalie sticks and cricket bats in a series of violent and bloody high-school hazing attacks earlier this year.

RCMP allege the teens “paddled” their eight victims, causing bruising and even bleeding to their victims’ upper legs and buttocks.

The accused youths, all now 16 years old, each face at least one charge of assault with a weapon. One of the young men is facing four assault charges, and another faces the more serious charge of assault causing bodily harm.

They made their first court appearance Aug. 5, and are scheduled to go before a judge again Sept. 2. They cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

In a press release issued Tuesday, Cpl. Ted Soltys of the St. Albert RCMP said the alleged attacks took place between mid-May and late June.

“The victims alleged they were taken to various locations in and around St. Albert, where anywhere from a couple of paddles to up to 30 paddles were inflicted upon them in varying degrees of force,” Soltys wrote.

St. Albert school officials said the alleged hazings occurred during the exam period in June, and the teens allegedly attacked their victims near a local business, not on school property.

“This type of behaviour is truly physical assault, and it is a criminal assault,” Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools superintendent Jerry Zimmer said of the hazing practices.

“Basically, they take some sort of handmade paddle, sometimes they use a hockey stick . . . and they stop and they physically assault an individual by hitting them on the buttocks, lower back or legs,” he said.
© The Calgary Herald 2008

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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