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Hazing – Another Form of Bullying

Hazing can be seen as a rite of passage for many different groups. Sports teams, clubs, gangs, and high school freshmen are just a few to be mentioned. It could involve one or more individuals that have decided to take part. It can be very unpleasant for many of those who are involved, while others seem to enjoy what they’re doing. Can we not consider this another form of bullying?
Individuals decide on how the process occurs and to whom they will haze. Many times it is passed down from generation to generation and “improved” upon in the eyes of the hazers over the years. Different ways are found to embarrass individuals, male or female. Every time they haze someone they are forcing some type of bullying on them. Some people will say they were willing to partake in the actions, but it still doesn’t make it right. Are they doing this for their father or for a friend (fraternity)? Is this their way of feeling welcomed? Parents should never be OK with these actions, even if they participated when they were young. To say “I lived through it” is a cliché. These kids are not the same as you. Each generation has changed and become more intense. Nobody should have to change themselves or participate in acts to prove themselves as “worthy.” With new technological advances over the years, such as video cameras on phones, these sorts of actions can follow them for the rest of their lives.
Younger generations learn from what they see on television, the Internet, or social media. Different media outlets show how professional athletes haze rookies, by cutting blotches into their hair, tying them up, or throwing them into a freezing tub of ice. “Monkey see monkey do,” which makes kids think it is OK for them to do it, but when it does happen it reenacts as some form of bullying. There should not be a fine line drawn into the sand, which places bullying and hazing on different sides. They are the same thing and it needs to be stopped! Why keep hurting others, including their self-esteem? It’s not pleasant and hazing definitely impacts the fight against bullying! To hear that many schools and clubs have banned hazing is a start, but the proof is in the pudding. It’s becoming an epidemic!

Jeremy Oshirak

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