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Question about hazing

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Antigone*

Senior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

The high school my daughter goes to just fired the football coach for a hazing incident My daughter is a freshman on the color guard. They had their first field show this Saturday night. I was called to a meeting by the guard last Wednesday where they asked my permission to come and "kidnap" my daughter and take her to breakfast. During the discussion I reminded them of what happened to the football coach, and I asked them if there would be other parents. The captain' mother and two other mothers would be taking the girls. They also promised there would be no boys, no humiliation and the kids would not be hurt.

Well the girls were not just driven around town with bags on their heads so they didn't know where they were going, they were driven to a park at 3am. One of the mom's got out and told the others that this is not what should be happening and said she was taking her girls and going to Denny's as was the plan. The other two moms stayed. They took the girls out still heads covered where they were made to do push ups. Then my daughter said that the older girls started to get hostile and pushed them into trees, bushes and trash cans. There were boys there and the girls were told to strip - my daughter refused. She does not know if any of the girls did but she was scared, especially after she heard the boys' laughter. A few of the girls had to use the restroom so the captain's mom told the girls to use a bush. The other mom refused to allow the girls to do that and took those girls to Denny's a few miles away. My daughter was then pushed around some more and she hurt her ankle. Well they all eventually ended up at Denny's.

When the first mom saw my daughter's face and that she was hurt she immediately went to find out what happened. Captain's mom got very belligerent and cussed out the other mom in front of all the girls. This is when mom got her daughter, the other two girls she had and mine daughter and brought her home.

I called the booster president, told him what happened, called the band director too and left him a message and then took my daughter to urgent care. Got a call back from the band director, he is going to speak to the principal immediately and let the school investigate and handle the situation. I am going to the school first thing in the morning, but what I want to know is should I involve the sheriff's as well. Was a crime committed and should it be reported? The really angry side of me wants to clobber this captain's mom but the sane side of me knows that would be stupid.

Should I involve law enforcement?
 
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CdwJava

Senior Member
You COULD involve law enforcement, but that does not mean that you SHOULD.

It would appear that the crime of battery (a misdemeanor) occurred, with possibly some false imprisonment (but we do not know if anyone was held against their will). You'll have to ask yourself what will be gained by reporting these other folks to the police and if that is what is necessary. If you trust the school to handle this, great. If you think the school will take a pass, then maybe you do need to call the police.

In this day and age such hazing rituals are asinine and fraught with liability for the individuals and the organizations involved. It SHOULD be ended, and it surprises me that it still exists at all.
 

justalayman

Senior Member
Question about hazing
I use Sparkle glass cleaner. No streaks or haze.




Ya got some pretty dumb parents there antigone.

As Carl said, there is a likelihood of several crimes. I think a few more than what Carl listed.

Most of the stuff was just stupid but there is one "activity" that I would want to know more about before deciding not to involve the police:


There were boys there and the girls were told to strip - my daughter refused. She does not know if any of the girls did but she was scared, especially after she heard the boys' laughter.
If it comes to light that anybody did remove their clothes and especially if there was anything more than that, I would be seriously considering involving the police.
 

Antigone*

Senior Member
You COULD involve law enforcement, but that does not mean that you SHOULD.

It would appear that the crime of battery (a misdemeanor) occurred, with possibly some false imprisonment (but we do not know if anyone was held against their will). You'll have to ask yourself what will be gained by reporting these other folks to the police and if that is what is necessary. If you trust the school to handle this, great. If you think the school will take a pass, then maybe you do need to call the police.

In this day and age such hazing rituals are asinine and fraught with liability for the individuals and the organizations involved. It SHOULD be ended, and it surprises me that it still exists at all.
I am so angry, Carl I could spit! The thought of my child being abused just... Well you know you're a dad. They swore that the girls would not be humiliated or hurt. I cannot believe this mom and her behavior. I think a part of me wants to involve authorities just to be vengeful.

As difficult as it is not to, I don't think I should do anything in anger. I will be at the school first thing in the morning.
 

mmmagique

Member
I am appalled! My dd is the youngest in her color guard since she is actually still in middle school, but performs with the high school color guard.
The mother who left first should have done something.
The mother who left second ABSOLUTELY should have done something.
Personally, I'd do whatever I could legally, to the mothers who willfully (not the first two moms...well...at least not the first one) let this happen. This is sick and wrong.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
I am so angry, Carl I could spit! The thought of my child being abused just... Well you know you're a dad. They swore that the girls would not be humiliated or hurt. I cannot believe this mom and her behavior. I think a part of me wants to involve authorities just to be vengeful.

As difficult as it is not to, I don't think I should do anything in anger. I will be at the school first thing in the morning.
And I can empathize ... but, emotions also tend to cause impressions of events to go to the extremes and not necessarily be assessed as they really were. Very often people go off then come to find out that the facts may not have been QUITE the dramatic series of events as they were originally described.

I, too, am concerned about the stripping part, but would want to know just what was meant by stripping. Taking off a sweater? Going down to skivvies? Naked? Then, yeah, there could be much more here.

As for other crimes, I see battery, the possibility of false imprisonment (a lack of freedom to leave), but not really anything else that leaps out. There are plenty of legal avenues to allow the school to take administrative action against students involved, however. And, I would hope that the parent(s) who participated or, as a result of their inaction, allowed it to continue (after they went to Dennys) will be removed from whatever position of authority they might have had with this group.
 

Antigone*

Senior Member
And I can empathize ... but, emotions also tend to cause impressions of events to go to the extremes and not necessarily be assessed as they really were. Very often people go off then come to find out that the facts may not have been QUITE the dramatic series of events as they were originally described.

I, too, am concerned about the stripping part, but would want to know just what was meant by stripping. Taking off a sweater? Going down to skivvies? Naked? Then, yeah, there could be much more here.

As for other crimes, I see battery, the possibility of false imprisonment (a lack of freedom to leave), but not really anything else that leaps out. There are plenty of legal avenues to allow the school to take administrative action against students involved, however. And, I would hope that the parent(s) who participated or, as a result of their inaction, allowed it to continue (after they went to Dennys) will be removed from whatever position of authority they might have had with this group.
Thank you, Carl. I think I am going to listen to the calm and sane side of me tonight - no more stewing it doesn't help. I will deal with this calmly tomorrow at school. At the very least this captain and her mom should no longer take part in color guard.
 

justalayman

Senior Member
As for other crimes, I see battery, the possibility of false imprisonment (a lack of freedom to leave), but not really anything else that leaps out. There are plenty of legal avenues to allow the school to take administrative action against students involved, however. And, I would hope that the parent(s) who participated or, as a result of their inaction, allowed it to continue (after they went to Dennys) will be removed from whatever position of authority they might have had with this group.
If they threatened them; criminal threat PC 422?

pc 243 due to the injury?

pc 242 (the one you were considering maybe?)

pc 243.2 due to the battery being in a park?
 

OHRoadwarrior

Senior Member
tigi, I would be at the police department so fast heads would be spinning. If those mothers wanted to let the girls play, they assumed parental responsibility for the activities that occurred. They should have jumped all over this crap at the start. Your daughter appears to have been one step from being sexually molested.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
If they threatened them; criminal threat PC 422?
This section is often misunderstood. It requires the victim to believe that the person making the threat is capable of carrying out the threat of physical harm and that the act is imminent. Merely making a threat is not going to qualify.

This offense is often considered one step ABOVE assault with a deadly weapon, and the bail schedule for it tends to be higher than anything short of manslaughter. PC 422 is actually a relatively hard burden to meet, and nothing I read would indicate to me that 422 would have been a realistic option.

pc 243 due to the injury?
If it required medical attention, perhaps. If medical attention was an option, no.

pc 242 (the one you were considering maybe?)
Correct. Any unwanted and intentional touching can be considered battery.

pc 243.2 due to the battery being in a park?
Ah, yes. That's correct. While there are a couple of charging options that might be available, they are still misdemeanor battery allegations. Typically the police would file for the PC 242 and the DA would decide if they might charge for 243.2, so you are correct that statute is quite possible but it would not be in addition to PC 242, it would be in lieu of it. And they are still both misdemeanor battery sections, only 243.2 holds a higher penalty (one year vs. 6 months, and $2,000 fine vs. $1,000, I believe).

And, possibly, PC 236: "236. False imprisonment is the unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another."

And, if the cops wanted to be really devious, they could consider all the kids and some/all of the adults to be co-conspirators and argue that this was a conspiracy to commit 236 or 242 and then charge everyone with PC 182 and charge it as a felony. It might be a tough sell to argue that they pre-planned pushing the newbies around, but, maybe.

Ultimately, I still think this is something that might be best handled by the school. Depending on the facts as they come out in the calm light of day, police intervention and the court system may not be called for. But, if it is as bad as it sounds, then just maybe it is time to get the police involved - if for no other reason than to try and make sure it doesn't happen again.
 

quincy

Senior Member
How scary for your daughter, Antigone. Thank goodness she was not injured severely.

I cannot understand what would compel any parent to put a child or children through a hazing like that.

You are already showing far more sanity and calmness than I probably would show under similar circumstances. My immediate reaction would no doubt be to call the police and report the captain's mom, and let this mom handle all of the fallout from her remarkably stupid, and likely criminal, actions.

But, the "defamation law" part of me has to agree with Carl. There may be more that is not yet known about the situation, and fact gathering should come before finger pointing and any public accusations.

Let us know what happens at school tomorrow.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
I agree, Quincy.

In my experience in this sort of thing (which is considerable), I have found that it is generally best to let things settle down for a moment and try to gather some FACTS before charging off and causing harm when it cannot be undone. Very often the initial interpretation of what is believed to be the truth is a tad off. The school is in an excellent position to gather evidence because, generally, they can compel children to write statements about the incident where the police cannot force someone to do so (the 5th Amendment and all). If the police get involved too early, the school may not be able to gather statements and facts, and the true details - even the ability to effectively prosecute a crime - might be curtailed as a result.

There is no need to rush off and report it. The children are safe, there is no immediate fear of harm in the short term, and there is time for cooler heads to examine what actually occurred. That does not mean there may not be a place for the police later, but for the moment it is time to examine what actually happened. I would venture to guess that some additional details might well come out when the drama of the night subsides, and the girls' tales might be a little less dramatic than they were so soon after the fact, and additional details might emerge that cast a slightly different light on things.

Let us hope that it is not as bad as it sounds.
 

Eekamouse

Senior Member
I don't know. I'd definitely want to go after the captain's mother. She sounds like she would benefit immensely from being held accountable in a very harsh manner for her disgusting behavior.:mad:
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
I don't know. I'd definitely want to go after the captain's mother. She sounds like she would benefit immensely from being held accountable in a very harsh manner for her disgusting behavior.:mad:
But, we don't know that she even COULD be ... it sounds like she MIGHT be able to be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor (if she allowed or encouraged an assault of some kind), or maybe the aforementioned longshot for conspiracy, but the lion's share sounds like it might be the responsibility of the other kids'. Plus, the facts may be wrong! It is a sad fact of life that kids often tell the tale their tale from a rather limited perspective and the facts may not be what they appear to be. This is why you can wait. And all because you wait 24 hours or even a week does not mean she will not be held accountable. The state has a full year to file on misdemeanor charges, they won't be in any rush, and believe me, the matter won't get to court any time soon even if it were reported tonight.
 
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