Tenn. school district seeks to strengthen hazing policies

January 16, 2016 / Athletic Administration
A recent hazing scandal in Tennessee that has three juvenile basketball players facing charges of sexual abuse has caused some school districts to review their policies on hazing and bullying.

A hazing scandal at Ooltewah High School (Tenn.) is forcing many districts to examine their policies.
A hazing scandal at Ooltewah High School (Tenn.) is forcing many districts to examine their policies.

The Bradley County Board of Education has passed the first reading of new policies this week that would better define actions and punishments for hazing and bullying on and off school property, according to the Cleveland Daily Banner. Bradley County is east of Ooltewah, where three basketball players were charged with allegedly assaulting a freshman teammate with a pool cue during a road tournament. Ooltewah’s athletic director and two coaches have also been charged for allegedly failing to report the abuse of other student-athletes.

The recent events caused the Hamilton County Board of Education (which oversees Ooltewah High School) to face criticism over its own policies, according to the newspaper. It seems the scandal is causing many districts to take a look at their policies.

From the article:

The revisions Bradley County’s board is considering making to Policy 6.304 include definitions about hazing, bullying, and other abuses and information about the need to report such incidents if they occur.

“Hazing is defined as an intentional or reckless act on or off school property, by one student acting alone or with others, directed against any other student that (1) endangers the mental or physical health or safety of that student or (2) induces or coerces a student to endanger that student’s mental or physical health or safety,” one such definition reads.

Board member Nicolas Lillios asked if the policy would allow for different penalties for different types of abuse, and Cash said the proposed changes were following what state laws have to say on those matters.

Click here to read the full story.

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