PERSPECTIVE: Students Involved In Hazing Should Be Kicked Out Of School (VIDEO)

A year ago, HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” did a piece on hazing among Black bands. I talked about it on Twitter and Facebook, and a lot of students at HBCUs got really upset with me, especially those at Southern University, who were upset because their school was featured. A year later, [a] drum major at Florida A&M University is dead, suspected of hazing.

So, what does it actually say when we sit here, and we’re sending Black kids to school to get an education, and parents are bringing them home in coffins? I don’t care what anybody says. Whether you’re in a fraternity, sorority, or the band, hazing is absolutely ridiculous. Look, I’m a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha, and when I pledged at Texas A&M, I made it perfectly clear that nobody was going to hit me because of some letters. That makes no sense.

But you know what?  This happens in high schools.  When I was at Jack Yates High School in Houston, I was in the band my freshman year, and they tried the hazing stuff there as well.

How in the world can we sit here and talk about education; and, yet, for some reason, folks are getting beaten?  It’s time for parents to tell their children, “You don’t let anybody abuse you and touch you, even if it’s a band, fraternity or sorority.”  We don’t know all of the circumstances around the death at Florida A&M, but I can tell you this:  if it’s hazing, kick everyone involved out of school.

That’s my perspective.  What’s yours? Sound off in the comment box below …

  • Anonymous

    You are absolutely on target!  Hazing will not be abolished until these institutions (fraternities, sororities, bands, etc.) institute a zero tolerance policy and criminally prosecute offenders!

    There has been a no hazing policy for as long as I have been a member of a fraternity (35 yrs). But it still goes on to this day.  Lawsuits and changing the intake process has only slightly curtailed this abuse.

    It’s time to get the criminal justice system involved.  After all, crimes are being committed!

  • Suspicious

    This situation is physically, emotionally and spiritually draining. My son attends BCU and marched with the BCU Wildcats for 4 years. The band director had a meeting with all band parents, his staff and freshmen  band students. I remember it well I was sitting next to the drum majors. The director made it perfectly clear that he was not going to tolerate any disruptive behavior problems and the GPA must remain at a certain scale.  He also stated that if any problems occur, he would take away funds or their scholarship and they would have to contact us asking for money to remain in school.  This was extremely effective. This band is notable and are asked to attend special events.  I am so proud. Not everyone is hazing. If we talk with our children and maybe directors choose this technique or what ever works for them–we would not be talking about Robert Champion and others today. So sad and degrading.

  • Let them get kicked out AND ban the chapter from the school.  Also, there should be a provision that if a student is hazed OFF campus, the students doing the hazing should still be kicked out of school and the chapter BANNED (because they will find a way to say “well, this didn’t happen ON campus” bull).  The students who are subjected to hazing should write a letter and send it to the organization/”chapter advisors/president” AND the president of the school – so they will know and not act “surprised” that hazing has happened – especially when a lawsuit is about to hit their desk!  Furthermore (and I think first off), the applicant SHOULD do what Mr. Martin did and make it perfectly clear that nobody is going to hit me or subhumanize me because of some letters (AND won’t FACE RETALIATION because he/she spoke up for him/herself)!!  Also, maybe they should start secretly videotaping their own intake process!! Some of this can be incorporated into alumnae/ni chapters because they also act a fool!   I don’t know, I am just brainstorming, but something needs to be done about this because what’s in place now, is not working!