High School Hazing: When Rites Become Wrongs

High School Hazing: When Rites Become Wrongs

by Hank Nuwer
     
 

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Newcomers-football rookies, new cheerleaders, the freshman class, gang recruits, and fraternity pledges-must often endure pointless, humiliating, sometimes dangerous rituals to gain membership in a group.

"High School Hazing: When Rites Become Wrongs" is a comprehensive look at these teenage initiation practices. It also examines hazing and pledging

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Overview

Newcomers-football rookies, new cheerleaders, the freshman class, gang recruits, and fraternity pledges-must often endure pointless, humiliating, sometimes dangerous rituals to gain membership in a group.

"High School Hazing: When Rites Become Wrongs" is a comprehensive look at these teenage initiation practices. It also examines hazing and pledging activities in college fraternities, which have caused at least one death a year since 1970 and threaten to trickle down to high school groups. It also examines some college athletic hazing incidents, including the death of Nick Haben at Western Illinois University in 1990.

In this timely book, I cover the definition and history of hazing; actual high school (and some collegiate) hazing incidents across the country; psychological explanations for "groupthink"; hazing in high school/college athletic teams; the deadly combination of hazing and alcohol; gang initiations; and hazing and the law.

The book's final chapter offers fifteen specific ways for teenagers (and adults) to begin to attack and eradicate hazing. Also included is a listing of antihazing organizations with contact information. "I hope you, the reader, will agree that "High School Hazing: When Rites Become Wrongs" is an invaluable, eye-opening contribution to a better understanding of the unnecessary and potentially deadly practices that many teenagers-and adults-still consider harmless pranks." Because hazing emphasizes conformity, individuals who differ from the crowd because of their independent thinking, sexual orientation, appearance, or race seldom fare well in mass initiations. Some hazed students can even experience a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition soldiers in combat sometimes suffer from when exposed to horror, terror, or shame.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Voya Reviews
Educating the public about the dangers of hazing has been Nuwer's mission since 1975. His latest effort focuses on high school students and serves as a guide to help both the hazed and hazers resist continuing these practices. Hazing is defined as the activities that require "new members to show subservience to older members of the group, lowering the self-esteem of the newcomers." The author outlines various activities that are most often associated with hazing, such as sleep deprivation, forced alcohol intake, physical abuse, and sexual mistreatment, as well as the different groups that engage in these activities. Using testimonials from victims, their parents, and perpetrators, this book illustrates the danger and seriousness of hazing. Although some stories begin to blend because they are so similar, this tactic is effective in evoking an emotional response, often indignation and horror. Nuwer attempts to arm students with the proper information about hazing so that they can make informed decisions and not submit to "tradition." The last chapter offers fifteen suggestions to stop hazing. These suggestions, in addition to the heartbreaking stories in the previous chapters, surely will make a confused student think twice about going along with the crowd. Teens who resist hazing in younger years are less likely to become involved in college incidents. This book should be required reading for high school students, parents, and teachers who might not be aware of the danger in their own schools. Public librarians who select this title will have to push it to the teens who need it. Index. Photos. Source Notes. Further Reading. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P J S (Better than most, marred only byoccasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, Franklin Watts, Ages 13 to 18, 144p, $25. Reviewer: Jennifer Rice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780531116821
Publisher:
Scholastic Library Publishing
Publication date:
03/28/2000
Series:
Single Titles Series
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
6.37(w) x 9.51(h) x 0.73(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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