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Mon Jul 25, 2016, 05:28 AM

New Pa. anti-hazing law targets middle and high school students

Starting Saturday, middle and high school students in Pennsylvania can be criminally charged for hazing their peers, as new state regulations go into effect following several high-profile incidents at local schools.

The state's anti-hazing law had applied only to college students, but in May, Gov. Wolf signed a bill extending its penalties to seventh through 12th graders. The changes kick in just in time for the start of the 2016-17 school year, and about five months after Chester County officials revealed a culture of hazing at Conestoga High School in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District.

The amendments also require private and public secondary schools to write anti-hazing policies, post them on their websites, and provide all athletic coaches with copies.

Hazing is a third-degree misdemeanor. In addition to the possibility of jail time for a convicted student, the law now allows secondary schools, as well as colleges, to impose fines, probation, and suspension, and to withhold diplomas and transcripts. The amendments also add expulsion to the list of punishments.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20160723_New_anti-hazing_law_targets_middle_and_high_school_students.html

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