State law requires districts to adopt hazing policies.
200-RICR-20-10-1.3.2 Supportive and Nuturing School Community
B. Safe and Respectful Environment
- Each LEA shall build a safe and respectful learning environment by addressing the components described in 1.3.2(A) through (F) of this Part.
C. Freedom from Discrimination.
- Each LEA shall identify and remove barriers to students and adults that are based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, language, gender, religion, economic status, disability, or sexual orientation.
- Each LEA shall comply with all relevant state and federal statutes and regulations regarding discrimination.
D. Right to a Safe School.
- Each LEA shall ensure that students who are on school grounds before, during, and after school, during recess, and during other intermissions are appropriately supervised by adults.
- Each LEA shall follow state Statutethat states that each student and staff member has a right to attend or work at a school that is safe and secure, that is conducive to learning, and that is free from the threat, actual or implied, of physical harm.
E. Prevention of Bullying, Harassment, Hazing, Teen Dating Violence, and Sexual Violence.
- Each LEA shall:
- a. Prevent and respond appropriately to incidents of bullying, hazing, teen dating violence, sexual violence, and related issues;
- b. Promote nonviolent conflict resolution techniques in order to encourage attitudes and behaviors that foster harmonious relations;
- c. Provide professional development, training, resources, and other means to assist students, staff, and other adults in the school building or at school sponsored activities in carrying out these responsibilities; and
- d. Comply with relevant state and federal statutes regarding these issues.
F. Positive Behavioral Supports and Discipline.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 11-21-1. Penalty for hazing
(a) Any organizer of, or participant in, an activity constituting hazing, as defined in subsection (b) of this section, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars ($ 500), or punished by imprisonment for not less than thirty (30) days nor more than one year, or both. (b) "Hazing" as used in this chapter, means any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. This conduct shall include, but not be limited to, whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug, or other substance, or any brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of the student or any other person, or which subjects the student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 11-21-2. Penalty for school official permitting hazing.
Every person, being a teacher, superintendent, commandant, or other person in charge of any public, private, parochial, or military school, college or other educational institution, who shall knowingly permit any activity constituting hazing, as defined in § 11-21-1, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than ten dollars ($ 10.00) nor more than one hundred dollars ($ 100).