Sayerville Football Team May See Jail Time for Hazing Incidents
The Sayerville High School football team has been a constant presence in the headlines recently after allegations of severe hazing in the team’s locker room arose. As the story grew, the season was canceled by the school district and now prosecutors are examining reported incidents of harassment, bullying and intimidation. If the players are found guilty, they could face jail time.
What is hazing exactly? We hear it in the news from time to time but do we really know what it is? According to the definition, hazing is an act of humiliation to a person interested in entering a student organization. Considered a tradition for many organizations, it used to prove an applicant’s worthiness. The ritual can consist of physical injury, ridicule, kidnapping or imprisonment, harassment and, above all else, humiliation.
Although hazing has been considered a tradition, the fact is it’s an illegal act in the eyes of New Jersey law. According to the state’s anti-hazing laws, hazing as a way to initiate a new member into a fraternal or student organization is considered a disorderly persons offense and carries a penalty of a fine and the defendant may be sentenced for up to 30 days in jail. A person can also be guilty of aggravated hazing, which is when the act results in serious bodily injury to another person. This is considered a fourth degree crime in New Jersey, a misdemeanor, and the defendant could face up to 18 months in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000.
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