Hazing News

Woodruff High School allegations under scrutiny


Hazing investigated at Woodruff High
Baseball teams scrutinized after parental complaints

From staff reports

Published: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 3:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, May 11, 2009 at 10:13 p.m.

Spartanburg County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating complaints of hazing that involve Woodruff High School’s varsity and junior varsity baseball teams.

Master Deputy Tony Ivey said the school district contacted the sheriff’s office on Friday after receiving several phone calls from parents about the alleged incident. “We were contacted late Friday afternoon by the school district,” he said. “They wanted our help in looking into allegations made by parents about a possible hazing incident involving the school’s baseball teams. Officers are interviewing players and coaches, and that’s sort of where we are right now.”

Ivey said he expected a comprehensive report sometime today.

From there, investigators will determine whether any types of substantial hazing occurred and whether more serious assault and battery charges are necessary, he said.

City of Woodruff Police Chief Darrel Dawkins said the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office was handling the investigation because the school’s resource officer is a county deputy.

South Carolina law defines hazing as “the wrongful striking, laying open hand upon, threatening with violence, or offering to do bodily harm by a superior student to a subordinate student,” or “other unauthorized treatment of a tyrannical, abusive, shameful, insulting, or humiliating nature.”

Penalties can include the student’s dismissal, expulsion, suspension, or another punishment considered appropriate by school officials.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based 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 new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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