One week after Central Bucks West High School High School curtailed its football season following allegations of hazing, a Pennsylvania lawmaker is seeking to criminalize such rituals.
Although Pennsylvania is one of 44 states with anti-hazing laws, the commonwealth’s statute applies only to institutions of higher education.
Hazing penalties should apply to schools and clubs, as well, said state Rep. Ron Marsico, R-Dauphin.
“They’re old enough to know. If they’re over 13 years of age, they should know better,” he said Monday.
In addition to the Bucks County school’s shortened football season, seven New Jersey high school students face hazing charges over incidents involving rookie team members.
“We saw those stories, as well as some incidents around the country, so we thought that we’d get this out actually in preparation for next session, early next session,” Marsico said.
The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association has noted its concern about hazing and encourages students, parents, and school staff to report it to school officials.
“I think we can all agree that hazing is another form of bullying, which must be stopped,” Marsico said..