Addressing the High School Hazing Problem: Why Lawmakers Need to Impose a Duty to Act on School Personnel
34 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2008
Date Written: 2004
This Article argues that, to be effective, hazing law needs to impose both a criminal and civil duty on school personnel to act affirmatively. Part I of this article discusses in detail the problem of high school hazing. Part II discusses how American law addresses (or fails to address) hazing. Part III discusses shortcomings in moral reasoning that underlie current anti-hazing law. Part IV explores legal alternatives to address hazing. Part V concludes that the best way to address hazing is for Congress, under its spending power, to withhold education funds from individual states unless they: 1) impose both a criminal and civil duty on school personnel to act affirmatively against hazing, 2) impose penalties on school personnel that violate these duties, and 3) bar the affirmative defenses of "assumption of risk" and "sovereign immunity" where these duties are violated.
Keywords: hazing, high school, duty of care, duty to act affirmatively, assumption of risk, deterrence, retribution
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