The Legal Consequences of College Hazing: Know Your Rights
Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys know that Texas has the third-highest number of colleges and universities nationwide, with 244 public and private higher learning institutions.
As campus life resumes, new and returning students are excited about the school year and making new friends. Often, new friends are made by pledging to a sorority or fraternity or trying out for a sports team.
Unfortunately, both Greek life and sports have become synonymous with hazing. Hazing involves any activity that recklessly or intentionally endangers a student’s physical or mental health seeking membership in an organization.
Although prohibited in all Texas college institutions, hazing remains widespread on campuses nationwide. If you have been a victim of hazing, you have rights.
Here, we explain how to protect yourself and hold those responsible for hazing accountable.
Hazing is a Criminal Offense in Texas
Hazing is a criminal violation under Texas law. A person may be found guilty of criminal conduct for hazing, encouraging hazing, permitting hazing, having knowledge of the planning of hazing incidents, and failing to report it in writing.
Convicted individuals may face fines, probation, community service, and, in some cases, incarceration.
Any person reporting a specific hazing incident to the appropriate institutional official is immune from civil and criminal liability unless the report is in bad faith or malicious.
Civil Lawsuits Can Be Brought Against Individuals and Universities
In addition to criminal penalties, victims of hazing have the right to pursue civil lawsuits against those responsible. This includes the individuals or groups accountable and the university.
If you or a loved one has experienced physical or emotional harm due to hazing, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other damages.
Title IX Implications and Loss of Federal Funding
Under Title IX, a federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in educational programs and activities, colleges and universities must address and prevent hazing incidents within student organizations.
Title IX complaints can effectively hold educational institutions accountable for allowing a culture of hazing to persist on their campuses.
Institutions that fail to take appropriate action may risk losing federal funding.
Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys know there is no such thing as “harmless hazing” and that all types of activity related to these cases must be reported so the liable parties can be held accountable for their actions.
We can help protect your rights and provide the legal support to hold the individual, parties, organization, and school liable for these dangerous practices with far-reaching consequences and create a safer environment for everyone.
Contact Our Skilled Personal Injury Attorney Today
Call our skilled personal injury attorneys in Austin at (512) 883-0277 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. We pursue dedicated, driven results for our clients, and there is never a charge to talk to an attorney. We stand ready to help you.