How can we eradicate hazing from America’s educational institutions?

Posted by Ronald | November 9, 2012  |  No Comment

The Holmes Education Post continues its initiative of writing books on K – 20 issues as an avenue to improve public education. At the recent Region II National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) in Richmond, Va., we provided a cursory view of our new book on hazing to be available to the public December 2012. Countless incidents of hazing and deaths continue to occur in our nation’s schools. So, the critical question to be asked is, “How can we eradicate hazing from America’s educational institutions?” An excerpt of the press release for the book follows:

According to Alfred University, hazing is defined as “any activity expected of someone to join a group that has the potential to humiliate, degrade, abuse or endanger a person regardless of his or her willingness to participate” in the activity. Hazing is an integral part of the U.S. culture. It is prevalent in educational institutions, sports, military and the workplace.

Hazing contradicts the biblical principles of “bringing up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Hazing causes students from the elementary to the postsecondary level to depart from their upbringing despite it being illegal in 44 states. We can no longer sit idly by and allow students at our educational institutions (K – 20) to be humiliated, degraded, abused or endangered in groups willingly or unwillingly without proactive strategies, policies and procedures to counter demeaning, disruptive and deadly acts of hazing. We know, “sticks and stones may break our bones but words shall never harm us.” However, hazing is breaking our students’ bones physically and harming them psychologically throughout the country.

This landmark book, sparked by the tragic death of Robert D. Champion, Jr. through a hazing ritual by fellow band members at Florida A&M University, will discuss the problems of hazing in the American culture from a psychological, sociological, theological, legal and cultural perspective. It will discuss the causes, effects and legal ramifications of hazing. It will also provide an extensive interview of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Champion regarding their perspective about combating hazing. It will provide researched-based strategies such as the 12-Point Strategic Plan of the National Anti-Hazing/Anti-Violence Task Force to eradicate hazing from K – 20 educational environments. This strategic plan was introduced at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on January 12, 2012.

Students, teachers, parents, administrators and community officials will find the book helpful in understanding the meaning and dangers of hazing, as well as using it as a guide to eliminate hazing from our culture. Other stakeholders such as school board members can find the book helpful in ensuring that policies are in place to prevent hazing incidents, as well as holding the institution’s leaders accountable for addressing incidents appropriately according to acceptable business practices.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Hazing is a serious challenge and controversy that our nation must tackle for the benefit of our children!

Let’s join forces to participate in the eradication of hazing through researched-based strategies and best practices across the U.S. This book captures some of these practices for educational institutions to adopt in their environments. Stay tuned for the specific release date of the book.

Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of two books, “Education Questions to be Answered” and “Current Issues and Answers in Education.” He is publisher of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper. Holmes is the national superintendent of education for the National Save the Family Now Movement, Inc., a former teacher, school administrator and district superintendent. He can be reached at [email protected]

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