Hazing added to school harassment policy

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 12/9/97.

The Paynesville Area School Board approved adding a section on ďhazingĒ into the district harassment policy at their meeting Tuesday night.

By law, all the districts need a ďhazingĒ policy. This requirement will take effect as of Jan. 1, 1998. According to Superintendent Howard Caldwell, the district has been working on the development of a policy that would institute hazing as a portion of the present harassment and violence policy. Caldwell has also sought legal advice to make sure the policy fulfills all the requirements of the law.

Hazing in the policy is defined as committing an act against a student, or coercing a student into committing an act, that creates a substantial risk of harm to a person, in order for the student to be initiated into or is defined as a group, club or organization having students as primary members or participants.

Hazing is prohibited on or off school property and during or after school hours.

A board member asked John Janotta, high school principal, if he felt there was hazing taking place at Paynesville. Janotta replied, yes. ďWhenever an upperclassman makes a freshman do various deeds, it could be considered hazing,Ē he said.

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