Poll: Are Schools Doing Enough to Stop Hazing, Bullying?
Three plaintiffs were added to a lawsuit against Maine West High School that alleges coaches condoned hazing.
A lawsuit against Maine West High School alleges that students were hazed and bullied, sometimes at the behest of coaches of some athletic teams.
A police investigation into a hazing incident this year led to charges against six students. During a “campus run” the boy’s teammates grabbed him, according to the lawsuit, tore off his underwear, held him down so he could not resist, grabbed his testicles and sodomized him with their fingers and other foreign objects.
Des Plaines police told the Chicago Sun-Times that they sought felony charges in the case, but Cook County prosecutors disagreed. Prosecutors said there was not enough evidence for the more serious charges and settled on misdemeanors, the Sun-Times reported.
Since that initial accusation, three other families have joined the lawsuit. Some of the allegations date back to 2008. Documents associated with the case, including the lawsuit, are attached to this post.
Although Maine West has been in headlines recently, hazing and bullying is nothing new at high schools. Township High School District 211 canceled a basketball game this week because of a hazing investigation involving the Hoffman Estates boys varsity basketball team.
"Frequent misconceptions about hazing include the idea that hazing is nothing more than harmless pranks and that it is a practice largely isolated to college fraternities," the website StopHazing.org states.
The website also gives tips on how to change a hazing culture and barriers to changing that culture.