Hazing banned for all students

Lawmakers passed a bill March 24 that expands the prohibition on hazing.

LB710, introduced by Venango Sen. Dan Hughes, extends the prohibition on hazing by postsecondary students to include all primary and secondary school students.

Hazing is defined as any activity by which a person intentionally or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health or safety of an individual for the purpose of initiation into, admission into, affiliation with or continued membership with any organization.

The bill adds to the definition of hazing: acts of sexual penetration, exposure of genitals, lewd fondling and caressing of another person and coercing another person to commit an act of public indecency. A person found to have committed an act of hazing will be guilty of a Class II misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.

The bill has a severability clause, which means that if one part of the bill is declared unconstitutional, the declaration will not impact the remaining parts of the bill.

The bill passed on a 47-0 vote.

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