Governor signs anti-hazing bill into law
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Governor Tom Wolf signs into a law new legislation that strengthens school districts’ ability to crack down on hazing, and require school boards to adopt anti-hazing policy. House Bill 1574, sponsored by State Representative Ron Marsico (R- Lower Paxton), amends the current Anti-Hazing Law of 1986.
“This expansion of the current anti-hazing law, which currently applies only to institutes of higher education, is a huge step in keeping Pennsylvania students protected from bullying and abuse,” Governor Wolf said. “Children need to feel safe during the school day, as well as after school, in order to achieve the highest educational success. This bill will allow schools take necessary steps to help ensure that.”
HB 1574 takes several steps to address hazing issues in schools:
- Expands the current law to apply to secondary schools, defined as any public or private school providing instruction to grades 7 through 12
- Amends the definition of hazing to apply the prohibited behaviors to any person, rather than only a student
- Requires each governing board of a secondary school to adopt a written anti-hazing policy and to provide this policy, along with the school’s rules, penalties, and program enforcement, to all athletic coaches involved with the school’s programs
- Requires each governing board of a secondary school to post its written anti-hazing policy on its website
- Amends the enforcement and penalties subsection of the law to provide that expulsion may also be a penalty for a violation of the institution’s anti-hazing rules
The new law will take effect on July 25, 2016.