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posted: 5/28/2013 6:26 PM

Anti-hazing plan passes in state Senate

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SPRINGFIELD -- A suburban lawmaker's proposal that grew out of hazing scandals in the suburbs passed the Illinois Senate unanimously Tuesday.

State Sen. Dan Kotowski said the proposal would create a new crime called "failure to report hazing."

"It covers the whole gamut to make sure we provide the adequate protections that we need for our kids in the environments where quite possibly their lives could be in jeopardy if a situation of hazing took place," Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat, said.

The crime would apply only to school officials, which includes school district employees such as teachers and coaches, as well as others who work in the classroom such as social workers or teacher's assistants.

The proposal now goes to the Illinois House.

The bill is partly in response to separate hazing scandals at Maine West and Hoffman Estates high schools.

At Maine West, two 14-year-old soccer players say they were sexually assaulted last year as part of a hazing ritual. Maine Township High School District 207 fired two Maine West soccer coaches and one faces charges. In Hoffman Estates, members of the boys' varsity basketball team were accused of hazing fellow students off campus in late November.

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