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Holden bill says school hazing a civil rights issue


Many fatal cases reported

Assemblymember Chris Holden’s bill, AB 2193, Hazing Accountability, which would allow for civil action to be brought against an educational institution for an instance of hazing in which an educational institution had direct involvement or should have known of the dangerous hazing practices of an affiliated organization, passed the Assembly Higher Education Committee and is headed to the Appropriations Committee. 

“There are endless fatal hazing cases that have happened all across the country spanning decades back,” said Holden, who represents the 41st District. “No part of participating in the college experience should be deadly. Parents need the security of knowing that someone is invested in stopping these dangerous activities from happening.” 

There has been an influx of dangerous hazing practices within extracurricular groups and campus organizations, and a lackluster effort on the part of many institutions to address it in a preventative manner. As a result, The Indiana United Press recorded that there has been at least one hazing-related death a year between 1961 and 2017.

Hazing can include anything from forced alcohol consumption, to physical abuse, public humiliation, and an assortment of other activities that can lead to severe long-term trauma and, too often, death.

Hazing is a clearly detrimental practice that California has characteristically taken seriously through legislation. Assembly Bill 2193 keeps us on that path by holding the educational institutions who promote participation in and benefit from these organizations responsible for the consequences that they may bring to students. This responsibility will hopefully incentivize institutions to bolster their oversight and preventative measures as they pertain to hazing in an effort to save students’ lives.

“I stand in solidarity with victims of hazing, though many are not as fortunate to be able to tell their stories, I am here, prepared and actively listening to how your educational experience can be memorable and safe,” said Holden.