The wise guys in our audience always ask when we report on high school hazings: “What’s the big deal? A couple of kids get embarrassed? So what?”
Well, here’s the big deal: school districts who it can be proven knew of a history of hazing athletes–and didn’t take any steps to prevent it–are going to be sued. And they’re going to lose. The latest example comes from Robertson High School in Las Vegas, New Mexico where seven young men were hazing with the business end of a broom. Most of the attackers were not only removed from the team, but also were arrested. Parents of the victims sued the school district last year and just settled for a cool $5 million.
We can debate whether what happened is worth that kind of money, whether hazing really damages the victims or not, but the fact remains when high school sports hazing gets out of hand (and it frequently does) there are going to be victims. And those victims will have parents, and some of those parents are going to sue. Simple as that.