Lubbock Police Talk About Silent Teen Crimes - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/20/05

Lubbock Police Talk About Silent Teen Crimes

With the start of school just weeks away, police are looking at teenage hazing crimes start to rise. Hazing laws are in place but police tell us it's hard to arrest someone if the crime isn't reported.

Three years ago, a "big sister" initiation took place with hundreds of Cornado high school seniors abusing girls in the sophomore class. Lt. Roy Bassett says the same type of hazing goes on today. "I'm sure there's a fair amount of hazing. Unfortunately hazing has become a regular part of high school." But the crime isn't regularly reported. Bassett says, "Who knows how many cases of hazing we never hear about." He says crimes are not reported because students are probably afraid of further retribution from teammates.

Monterey High School Football Coach James Morton says he doesn't believe hazing is a problem in Lubbock. "It's against the law, and students know they won't be a part of athletics or school." Morton says sports are based on team concepts, and they encourage teens to work together as a team.

Lubbock ISD follows Texas state law and will not tolerate hazing. Under state law-hazing could be a simple as calling someone a name to physically harming someone. Hazing is a misdemeanor and you could face fines up to $10,000 and jail-time.

And for students thinking about initiating fellow teammates, Coach Morton has a message. "We're all human beings. You need to treat people right, kids lose focus of that and it's our part to help them learn to do that."

If your child is being hazed, you can file charges but police warn other kids might retaliate.

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