Utah lawmakers seek info on high school, college hazing


By Lisa Schencker
The Salt Lake Tribune
Is hazing a big problem in Utah schools?
Two lawmakers want to know and are asking the public to contact them. Education Interim Committee chairmen Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, and Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, want to know if and where it’s a problem and what some coaches or administrators are doing to try to prevent it. The lawmakers say they plan to investigate the issue in committee.

“Recently, we have been working with a few isolated, but extreme reports of hazing at the high school and college levels,” Stephenson said in a news release Thursday. He did not, however, identify the incidents in the release, and attempts to reach him Thursday afternoon for further comment were unsuccessful.

Hughes declined Thursday to comment on any specific incidents. Hughes said the lawmakers are interested to learn how widespread a problem hazing might be and whether current laws are working.

Recently, several Utah State University college students have been sentenced in a case where a student died of alcohol poisoning while being hazed, but the students were sentenced for crimes other than hazing. Hughes, however, said the request for feedback about hazing has more to do with, “incidents I’ve become aware of that are happening in our public schools.”

“We would just like to get a handle on what’s going on, if there are students fearful of going to school, if there are parents that are frustrated,” Hughes said. Full story.

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