Hazing News

When Parents Fight Back: Regina hazing update

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In an interview, the parents of one of the younger boys said they’ve made it a point to attend court, despite how difficult it was to relive the events that left their son and his best friend bruised both physically and emotionally.

“It is something I will remember for the rest of my life,” one of the boys wrote in a victim impact statement provided to the court.

The mother said both boys are now doing “really, really well” and have, as best friends, supported each other throughout the past year. So too have the boys’ families supported one another – and that’s been fortunate for more than one reason.

“(Our families have) been very close throughout this process and we’re both on the same page, right from Day 1, which was very helpful because there are many, many parents and students that still feel that there’s no issue here,” the father said. “And that’s where the courts vindicated the process that we went through. It’s been a difficult year, but hopefully a message has been made.”

The parents said they’ve been told numerous times that what happened to the boys isn’t a big deal.

“The reality is when you hear the story of what happened to our boys, as a parent I don’t know how you could not do something,” the mother said. “How can you possibly let that go by? So we just felt the need as parents that we had to do something. And I think that we’ve taught our kids through this whole process that when something does happen to you that it’s important to do the right thing – even though it can be extremely difficult and that you’re feeling that you’re going upstream and everybody’s going the other way. You still have to do what you believe in and we really feel like we’ve hopefully done that.”

The parents wanted to make it clear that they were never out for revenge against the teens who paddled the boys.

“There were really no winners through this whole process,” the father said. “We weren’t in it to ‘get’ anyone. It was more making sure the message got out, a precedent is set going forward, and we do hope that these young people become productive, good citizens.”

The parents said they’re pleased with the way the matter was handled by the police, the courts and Regina Public Schools – and that, at least, has given the families some relief.

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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. 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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