Carmel-Clay introduces new anti-hazing policy


Rich Van Wyk/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Responding to the alleged assaults and police investigation, Carmel-Clay school officials are expected to approve a new anti-hazing policy.

All Carmel school students, not just those involved in sports and other extra-curricular activities, will be effected.

Comprehensive, yet clear, it defines hazing in absolute terms, and prohibiting specific activities and behaviors that may have been perceived by some as acceptable initiations.

Will this protect students?

"Definitely, it will." answers Hank Nuwer. He is a Franklin College Associate professor, author and nationally recognized expert on hazing and prevention policies.

"It clearly cites the difference between abuse and discipline. The difference between hazing and positive rites. The types of rites that a basketball or football team could do," said Nuwer.

Punishments for hazing range from warning to expulsion. Teachers and other employees are told to be alert to possible hazing.

Victims are told they can see any teacher, coach or administrator for help, but that's a concern for Nuwer.

"Many experts, including myself, believe it is important to report to the police first" as a means of preventing cover ups and delayed criminal investigations.

The new four-page policy replaces an existing anti-hazing warning one line long.

Carmel did not reinvent the wheel. It used pieces and parts of existing anti-hazing policies published and used by the NCAA, universities, fraternities and researchers.

But without crediting its sources, Nuwer complains Carmel may be violating its own plagiarism policy.

"I would say they need to have citations here as well," he said.

It is something a Carmel-Clay Schools administrator says will be considered. The anti-hazing policy and guidelines are included in the new student handbooks expected to be approved by the Carmel School Board Monday night. It will also be in the student athlete handbooks.

Like some universities, Carmel will require athletes sign a form, acknowledging they've read, understood and promise to abide by the policy.

See the anti-hazing policy here.

Administrative guidelines on anti-hazing.

Meantime, a news conference is scheduled for 1:00 pm Monday to announce possible charges stemming from a suspected hazing incident and sexual assault on a Carmel High School boys' basketball team bus.