State law requires districts to adopt hazing policies.
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 18 Section 2802. Hazing.
(a) Offense defined. — A person commits the offense of hazing if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly, for the purpose of initiating, admitting or affiliating a minor or student into or with an organization, or for the purpose of continuing or enhancing a minor or student’s membership or status in an organization, causes, coerces or forces a minor or student to do any of the following: (1) Violate Federal or State criminal law. (2) Consume any food, liquid, alcoholic liquid, drug or other substance which subjects the minor or student to a risk of emotional or physical harm. (3) Endure brutality of a physical nature, including whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics or exposure to the elements. (4) Endure brutality of a mental nature, including activity adversely affecting the mental health or dignity of the individual, sleep deprivation, exclusion from social contact or conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment. (5) Endure brutality of a sexual nature. (6) Endure any other activity that creates a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to the minor or student. (b) Grading. (1) Except as provided under paragraph (2), hazing is a summary offense. (2) Hazing shall be a misdemeanor of the third degree if it results in or creates a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to the minor or student. (c) Limitation. — Hazing shall not include reasonable and customary athletic, law enforcement or military training, contests, competitions or events.
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 18 Section 2803. Aggravated hazing.
(a) Offense defined. — A person commits the offense of aggravated hazing if the person commits a violation of section 2802 (relating to hazing) that results in serious bodily injury or death to the minor or student and: (1) the person acts with reckless indifference to the health and safety of the minor or student; or (2) the person causes, coerces or forces the consumption of an alcoholic liquid or drug by the minor or student. (b) Grading. — Aggravated hazing shall be a felony of the third degree.
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 18 Section 2808. Enforcement by institution and secondary school.
(a) Antihazing Policy.—
- (1) Each institution and each governing board of a secondary school shall adopt a written antihazing policy and, pursuant to that policy, shall adopt rules prohibiting students or other persons associated with any organization operating under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by the institution or secondary school from engaging in any activity which can be described as hazing.
- (2) Each secondary school shall provide a copy of the written antihazing policy, its rules, penalties and program of enforcement to all athletic coaches involved in organizations within the secondary school.
- (3) Each governing board of a secondary school shall post its written antihazing policy on its publicly accessible Internet website.
(b) Enforcement and Penalities.—
- (1) Each institution and each governing board of a secondary school shall provide a program for the enforcement of such rules and shall adopt appropriate penalties for violations of such rules to be administered by the person or agency at the institution or secondary school responsible for the sanctioning or recognition of such organizations.
- (2) Such penalties may include the imposition of fines, the withholding of diplomas or transcripts pending compliance with the rules or pending payment of fines and the imposition of probation, suspension, dismissal or expulsion.
- (3) In the case of an organization which authorizes hazing in blatant disregard of such rules, penalties may also include recision of permission for that organization to operate on campus or other school property or to otherwise operate under the sanction or recognition of the institution or secondary school.
- (4) All penalties imposed under the authority of this section shall be in addition to any penalty imposed for violation of section 3 or any of the criminal laws of this State or for violation of any other institutional or secondary school rule to which the violator may be subject.
- (5) Rules adopted pursuant hereto shall apply to acts conducted on or off campus or other school property whenever such acts are deemed to constitute hazing.
"Pennsylvania law requires that secondary schools adopt a written hazing policy to prevent and address hazing by students or persons associated with organizations sanctioned by the school."