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LA Officials Take Stand

“Hazing in all forms is not to be taken lightly. Recent history has shown that hazing can constitute a criminal act. In some cases, hazing may also include other acts, such as physical assault or battery, sexual assault or battery, or sexual harassment, which could lead to criminal consequences and student discipline”. This statement is straight from the article, “LAUSD warns coaches on hazing” in the Los Angeles Times, which was published on October 3rd, 2014 by Eric Sondheimer. I feel Sondheimer summed the issue of hazing in today’s society very well. Compared to the various articles I have reviewed and written a response for, this article actually shows actions that will prevent hazing instead of telling what hazing incident has happened.

The Los Angeles Unified School District had sent an email to all coaches explaining that they are to educate their athletes on hazing, especially the upperclassmen. This email also had stated that if a hazing incident were to happen, not only the students involved would be punished, but the coach will suffer the consequences as well. No excuses would be accepted from the coach’s standpoint; they are fully responsible for the supervision of their athletes. If a coach had even slight suspicions the act of hazing was happening within their team, they are to tell a school administrator. This is a zero tolerance approach to hazing.

I believe this is an excellent approach from the LAUSD. There is not enough hazing prevention in high schools, universities, and professional institutions nowadays. Coaches emphasizing the severity of hazing is crucial. I believe leaving them responsible for any misbehavior of their team is also a valuable lesson. If they educate their athletes well enough and discuss the negative consequences of a hazing action, the action itself will most likely not be taken. Coaches are in a leadership position; they are there to not only educate their team on and off the field or court for a specific sport, but they are also to teach discipline.

Jenna Tuttolomondo

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