SOUTHFIELD (WXYZ) - Some say it’s in good fun, but it seems hazing has gotten out of control these days, and researchers say the attacks are increasingly violent and sexual.
“All you want to do is be part of that group. You're hazed,” said psychologist Dr. Susan Lipkins. “The next year you watch as others are hazed, you are a bystander, then eventually you're a senior and you do unto others what has been done to you."
Metro Detroit isn’t immune to the hazing epidemic.
Last year, the head coach of a wrestling team in Monroe was put on administrative leave and students were suspended after claims that some team members were urinated on in the showers and sexually assaulted by upperclassmen on the team. Three hockey coaches in Howell lost their jobs after pictures of players wearing women’s undergarments and parading around a bar surfaced in January.
But it doesn’t stop after high school. At Wayne State University, three fraternity pledges got in trouble with the law and the school when they were caught stealing.
While there are countless cases, pinpointing the problem is often difficult. There are no state or federal agencies that collect statistics on hazing, or a central place to report them.
Lipkins’ research shows 1.5-million high school students are hazed each year and nearly 80% of NCAA athletes say they were hazed initially in high school.
“They add a little bit more violence, a little bit more alcohol, a little bit more humiliation," Dr. Susan Lipkins said.
There are no federal laws banning hazing, but Michigan is one of 44 states with anti-hazing laws on the books.
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