Study shows school hazing a problem

Recent research suggests that student journalist Marina Hennessy of Avon High School in Indiana broke a national story last year. Hennessy exposed allegations of hazing by athletes at her school in a story that prompted censorship by school officials and statewide media coverage. In her story, football players described being beaten with broomsticks, extension cords and socks stuffed with tennis balls by other team members. Her efforts resulted in Hennessy receiving both the Journalism Education Association’s Impact Award and the Newseum’s Courage in Student Journalism Award last spring.

Now a nationwide survey makes clear that Avon isn’t the only school where students experience hazing. A national survey of 1,541 high school students just released by professors at Alfred University in New York revealed that 48 percent experienced hazing to join a high school group. Among the activities that involved high levels of hazing were sports, music, art, cheerleading and theater.

According to the researchers, only two high school organizations didn’t involve high levels of hazing. Those organizations? Student newspaper and yearbook, of course.