Hazing/Bullying: Duality of Physical Violence | Community Spirit

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Hazing/Bullying: Duality of Physical Violence
Hazing/Bullying: Duality of Physical Violence

Hazing/Bullying: Duality of Physical Violence

William Jackson, M.Ed.

The issue of Hazing and Bullying has created a new level
of concern for parents sending their children to college.
The elevated incidence of injuries and harm (physical,
emotional, psychological) and deaths of those falling victim
to the violence that is the result of inflicting suffering and
pain upon another person.

Bullying has many forms from verbal harassment, sexual
assaults (and favors), cyber threats and physical attacks.  
All used to create an environment of fear, trepidation and
compliance to the wishes of the tormentor(s). Hazing is
the execution of psychological manipulation, physical
violence and emotional persuasion to create conditions
of servitude (serving those who execute hazing) and
creating circumstances of acceptance for violence and
humiliation to gain entrance into an organization.

The expectation of physical violence should never be
acceptable nor encouraged. Hazing conditions have
historically been present in the educational systems of
our schools, religious groups (orders), military units,
sports teams/athletic organizations both male and female.
Hazing assaults and violence associated has been docu-
mented in Greek organizations that emphasis brotherhood
and sisterhood to the degree of a religious order and
complete servitude to the objectives and wishes of the
organizations statues and laws.

The Hazing ritual for entrance into an organization has
predated the 20th century educational and professional
advancements with the destruction of independence to
the denying of personal welfare and safety. Some hazing
has kept its medieval assault techniques that border on
Human Rights Violations

The recent events not only with Florida A&M University
are seen at Dartmouth College (Ramer, H. toledoblade.com,
3/13/2012), University of Georiga (L. Shearer, March 03, 2010)
Vancouver, Wash. Heritage High School, (March 10th, 2012)
and other Colleges and Universities nationally. Even though
an unfortunate event as the death of a student has occurred,
not just at FAMU it should be noted that, “hazing does not
just happen on the campuses of Historically Black Colleges
and Universities, but has happened in other higher educational
institutions and in high schools,” as stated by  S.C. State
University President Dr. George E. Cooper.

The facts are that Hazing and Bullying are a duality of physical
violence (a twofold division in several spiritual, religious, and
philosophical doctrines) in that you have organizations that
emphasis brotherhood and sisterhood, unity, love, obedience/
respect to elders and service to community, but in order to gain
entrance individuals are subjected to humiliation,
physical, mental, sexual and even spiritual assaults. Many
entering into organizations are enticed by social acceptance,
higher cultural recognition, likeability, improved employment
opportunities and future professional growth.

Hazing and Bullying are not issues of color, social stature,
economics nor religion, it is a tragedy of human violation that
must be investigated and those who feel it is necessary should
be re-educated (not just punished) to the emotional and
psychological damage that Hazing and Bullying produces.
When someone is beaten, cursed, punished, their human rights
violated or restricted these are the same elements of bullying
and even can be categorized as torture
(The intentional infliction of physical or mental suffering upon
an individual or individuals), Blacks should know better having
experienced centuries of slavery, torture, violation of civil and human
rights. Why would Black continue this against themselves for
membership into a organization??

Bullying and Hazing
Hazing can be seen as an organized and planned form of Bullying.
A difference between these behaviors is bullying is an attempt to
exclude a person from activities. Hazing is often done in an attempt
to complete a rite of passage or initiation into a group. Hazing is
done to create a sense of a bond between the person being hazed
and the person/group doing the hazing. The Hazing process is even
used to destroy or break down the person(s) individuality and bring
it into compliance to the group ideologies and actions.

The expectations of schools and community organizations are in
need of being reeducated and revamping of statues for entrance.
Bullying and Hazing can be lowered or ceased by empowering
students and adult leaders/role models with positive alternatives
that build relationships into a stronger brotherhood or sisterhood.
Hyland (1928): found in research when joining armies, fraternal
organizations, political movements, or religious orders, new members
must frequently be separated from aspects of their past lives and
formally embrace the mission and beliefs of the new association.
The rites and actions involved, qualitatively similar to humiliation
rituals, are termed hazing or aggressive conversion.

Differences in Hazing
Hazing differs from Bullying in that the person agrees to the
humiliation that is initiative. This agreement allows the attempt
to break a person’s will and to change their mental acceptance
of violence, humiliation and self denial of choice to gain
entrance into an organization. Chidley (1995) cited such activities
for Hazing as sleep deprivation, public nudity, childish pranks,
drunkenness, gross racial slurs, beatings, partial drowning,
starvation and other activities. These in definition are Violation
of Human Rights that are denied actions even during war as stated
by the United Nations.

Hazing Among Students
A considerable amount of hazing continues to occur in schools and
school-related programs (Chidley, 1995; Plummer, 1993). Educators
must consider carefully their stance toward any hazing that has
become traditional in their settings. Although mild ritualistic
behaviors, handled sensitively, may aid the development of a sense
of belonging, these rites also possess tremendous potential to hurt and
cause long lasting mental and emotional damage. Women fair no
easier, the worst form of hazing is unwanted sexual touches, forcing
sex with one or multiple partners. These are forms of physical Bullying
and Hazing experienced by females (AAUW, 1993; Shakeshaft et al.,
1986). True to life, women have become pregnant because of forced
sexual intercourse during hazing carrying the child to term and giving
birth. In many cases the male is not required to provide child support
because of the sacrifice by the women to be a member of an

In Conclusion
There needs to be discussion on actions that are dehumanizing and human
violations when talking about Hazing and Bullying. Such discussions can
be appropriate as part of core subjects taught in classrooms that focus on
the rights of the individual. Novels can be used to direct discussion, such
novels as The Lords of Discipline (Conroy, 1980), and Lord of the Flies
(Golding, 1954) can generate useful discussions about hazing. 

Added education helps schools understand the degree to which seemingly
harmless hazing traditions lend themselves to bullying on the one hand or
to group loyalty and unity on the other hand. Students should be brought
into this discussion if change is going to be made. To create a Bully/Hazing
free environment it is paramount that we educate teachers, students and
parents about the prevalence and consequences.


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