May 31, 2018 (LaGrange, GA) –
Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a number of bills to strengthen anti-hazing laws in the state of Louisiana. Between these four bills the state of Louisiana now has some of the toughest anti-hazing laws on the books.
The legislation was written after Max Gruver, a freshman at Louisiana State University, died during a fraternity drinking hazing ritual. His parents, Stephen and Rae Ann Gruver, pushed for the Max Gruver Act, one of four measures passed today.
“Louisiana took a great step today toward safeguarding our college students and loved ones” said Leonard Sancilio, Board President of HazingPrevention.Org™. “These LA laws raise awareness, provide for education, mandate prevention, and stipulate sanctions and penalties, all things needed to change this abusive culture. It will take all of us working together to eradicate hazing, but this is a good start”
According to the website of the Office of the Governor John Bel Edwards:
HB 270 protects identifying information of students that report violations of student codes of conduct.
HB 78, The Max Gruver Act, creates the crime of criminal hazing with offenders facing either a fine up to $1,000, imprisonment up to six months or both; if the hazing results in serious bodily injury, death, or if the hazing involves forced alcohol consumption that results in a blood alcohol level of at least .30, offenders will face a fine up to $10,000 and imprisonment up to five years. The bill also amends current hazing law to apply to any organization in an education institution and specifies what defines hazing.
HB 793 requires colleges and universities to provide annual hazing education and prevention training.
HB 446 requires that any person at the scene of an emergency where another person suffers serious bodily harm give reasonable assistance to the injured person including seeking help or reporting the need for help to the appropriate authority. Persons who fail to immediately report the need can be criminally charged with a fine up to $1,000, imprisoned up to one year or both. If the injury results in death, the offender will be fined up to $2,500, imprisoned up to five years or both.
Currently forty-four states have hazing laws. HazingPrevention.Org is in support of all states adopting stronger and more consistent definitions of hazing and anti-hazing legislation and commends the state of Louisiana for its actions.
HazingPrevention.Org™ is a national 501(c)3 organization dedicated to empowering people to prevent hazing, by providing education and resources, advocating on hazing prevention, and building partnerships with others. Major initiatives of the organization include National Hazing Prevention Week™, the HazingPrevention.Org Institute for Hazing Prevention™, webinars, books and Prevent.Zone™ educational online courses that touch the lives of thousands of individuals, organizations, campuses and communities.