Our network

SANDY SPRINGS | Lawmaker introduces tougher anti-hazing bill | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

SANDY SPRINGS | Lawmaker introduces tougher anti-hazing bill

ATLANTA - It's an underground culture, in some cases an epidemic, that has recently taken one student's life. Now a Georgia lawmaker has written a bill that he hopes will end hazing in Georgia.

Representative Joe Wilkinson (R-Sandy Springs) introduced House Bill 659 last session. If passed, anyone found guilty of hazing would be ineligible to enroll in or attend school in the state of Georgia.

RELATED | Witnesses: FAMU drum major was targeted due to sexuality
RELATED | FAMU trustees will create anti-hazing committee

"We do have very strong anti-hazing bills currently on the book, anti-bullying bills, but perhaps we need to do something else," he said.

"We were hearing stories about a recurrence of hazing, but it wasn't in fraternities and sororities where it had taken place in the past," he added. "It was more in high school and minor sports teams."

RELATED | As suspensions continue, band students miss scholarships
RELATED | SW DeKalb parents want band ban lifted

Two months ago, Florida A&M university drum major and Decatur native Robert Champion died after being beaten by fellow students aboard a bus. The Orange County medical examiner ruled his death homicide caused by hazing.

Georgia already has a hazing law on the books, but offenders only face a misdemeanor. In Florida, where Champion died, hazing is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Since Champion's death in November, Florida congresswoman Frederica Wilson has announced plans to introduce an anti-hazing bill into Congress. That law would punish students who submit to hazing along with those who actually do it.


Sandy Springs Deals