Williamsville Central School District

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Student Welfare

Adoption Date: 7/7/2009, Revised: 9/8/2015
7000 - Students

7553 HAZING OF STUDENTS

SUBJECT:    HAZING OF STUDENTS

The Board of Education is committed to providing a safe, productive, and positive learning environment within its schools. Hazing activities are demeaning and abusive behaviors that harm victims, are inconsistent with the educational goals of the District, and may constitute criminal conduct. Consequently, the hazing of students by other students or groups of students is strictly prohibited on school property, in school buildings, on school buses, by school sponsored groups, clubs or teams, and at school sponsored events and/or activities whether occurring on or off-campus. Hazing is prohibited regardless of the victim's apparent willingness to participate in the activity.

For purposes of this policy, the term "hazing" is defined as any humiliating or dangerous activity expected of a student to join a group, regardless of their willingness to participate. Any hazing activity,  whether by an individual or a group, shall be presumed a forced activity and in violation of Board policy, regardless of the “willingness” of the student to participate. Acts constituting hazing may range in severity from teasing or embarrassing a student to various forms of physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse. Hazing behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  1. Humiliation:  socially offensive, isolating, or uncooperative behaviors.
  2. Substance abuse:  abuse of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs.
  3. Other dangerous actions:  hurtful, aggressive, destructive, and disruptive behaviors.
Hazing is a form of harassment and bullying, as those terms are defined for the purposes of Policy #7550 -- Dignity for All Students, and may constitute discrimination. Any student who believes that he/she is being subjected to hazing behavior, as well as students, school employees or third parties who have knowledge of or witness any possible occurrence of hazing, shall report the incident to any staff member or the building principal.  Anonymous student complaints of hazing behavior will be investigated by the District.  As such, the District's response to reports of hazing will be governed by applicable law, the District's Code of Conduct, and Policy #7550 and its implementing regulations. In the event allegations involve hazing based on a student's race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or disability, the District may utilize the procedures set forth in Policy #3420 -- Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District, and its implementing regulations.

Education Law Sections 1709-a, 2503-a, and 2801
Penal Law Sections 120.16 and 120.17
8 NYCRR Section 100.2

Policy References:
Refer also to Policies:

  • #3410 - Code of Conduct on School Property
  • #3420 - Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District
  • #7551 - Sexual Harassment of Students
  • District Code of Conduct
Policy Cross References:

  •  » 3410 - CODE OF CONDUCT ON SCHOOL PROPERTY
  •  » 3420 - NON-DISCRIMINATION AND ANTI-HARASSMENT IN THE SCHOOL
  •  » 7551 - SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF STUDENTS
  •  » 7552 - BULLYING: PEER ABUSE IN THE SCHOOLS
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