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The Hazards of Hazing

Viera High School’s football team engages in practice.

 Hazing, although not as prevalent as it once was, is still a recurring issue at schools. Recent events at Viera High School have brought to light the continued behaviors of certain students. On August 22, a video surfaced showing multiple members of Viera High School’s varsity football team engaging in a sexually explicit initiation of a new member. This resulted in the suspension of the entire football team, and their coach being relieved of his duties. 

   Brevard County Public Schools has launched an investigation into the incident, with the majority of the team having to take on an anti-hazing educational program. Alongside the internal investigation, Brevard County Sheriff’s office has launched a criminal investigation into the matter, though no one has been charged yet. 

   The situation at Viera raises multiple concerns regarding how seriously student-athletes are taking the ban on hazing. While the players are responsible for their own actions, it is up to coaches to make sure the rules are being enforced. “Our coaches monitor the locker rooms and parking lot whenever there are students in those locations. We have a great group of student-athletes, but we make sure there is an adult presence wherever there are students.” said UHS varsity football coach Mark Barrett. 

  Though hazing is commonly associated with football teams or college fraternities, that’s not always the case. On July 24th, earlier this year a lawsuit was filed against Northwestern University over alleged hazing within the girl’s volleyball team. The player, referred to as Jane Doe in the lawsuit states that she experienced “hazing, harassment, bullying, and retaliation.” One of the hazing incidents even left Doe with an ‘unspecified injury’, according to NPR. 

    Though there have been no cases of hazing at UHS, there are still penalties put in place for those found participating in hazing. UHS Volleyball coach Jaime Tremaine stated, “There would definitely be a conversation for sure. I’ve had scenarios where I almost kicked people off the team, and people know I’m not the kind of person to do that sort of thing. If I were to encounter any sort of hazing, it’d definitely result in a report or referral.” Tremaine then said, “But I don’t encounter those situations. Typically it’s just boys being rowdy. Banter, y’know.”

  Knowing the extent to which hazing can reach, it’s not unreasonable for UHS to be mindful of this issue. “That doesn’t happen with my team, but maybe other teams. The boys can definitely be a bit rough with each other, but nothing really ever happens beyond that. The girl’s soccer team doesn’t have any issues with hazing. We’re just really open and understanding with each other,” said sophomore Camila Garcia Moraes.

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About the Contributor
Ashton Young
Ashton Young, Staff Writer
Ashton Young is currently a sophomore at UHS, and this is his first year as Staff Writer on The Torch. He enjoys reading and visiting national or state parks. He appreciates and listens to all kinds of music and his favorite film is Reservoir Dogs.
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