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Article posted: 3/9/2013 5:00 AM

Hazing legislation would do harm

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I read with dismay state Rep. Marty Moylan's proposed bill to add another layer of punishment regarding hazing. While hazing is a serious issue, the law already allows disciplining and prosecution of those responsible. A law making the supervisors of those individuals liable as well is unfair. It'll create a culture of fear, which in turn will lead to more rules, more restrictions. It'll be good lawsuit bait, though. And Illinois needs more lawsuits, right?

This is a bill that sounds wonderful on paper, but would do little good and much harm in practice. The hazing outrage feeding-frenzy has gone far beyond what was merited by the actual event. We've already destroyed two careers, what's a few more? Yes, the teachers involved should've detected and stopped what was happening, and discipline is appropriate, but it's gone too far. It's so easy to place blame, isn't it? So easy to call for blood. Blame everyone, fire everyone. It'll make you feel good. Never mind whether it's good idea, or whether it's fair and just.

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How many of those shouting have actually worked with groups of kids? How many have invested their lives in teaching, helping, mentoring? I'm guessing not many. Otherwise we'd see more compassion and common sense.

Steven Haworth

Des Plaines

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