Hazing or Initiation | Dr Phillips High School – Darrion Denson | Orlando Bullying Counselor

What is Hazing and Tips to Prevent it in your School!

Darrion Denson reportedly was told by his coach to walk into the Dr. Phillips High School Senior locker room to get a pair of pants.  He reports that 5 football players beat him until he was unconscious and when he woke up he found himself in a dumpster sometime later.  This recent hazing incident at Dr Phillips High School with Darrion Denson and other recent events continues to create questions and bring to light the need for more Hazing Prevention.

Sororities, Fraternities, High School, College and Professional Athletics team have woven hazing or initiation processes into sports for decades.  However, over the past 20 years it seems to have become increasingly worse, more traumatic and often meets the criteria for sexual offending or rape.  Many cases report students who are sodomized with shampoo bottles or the end of mop handles.  Other cases report students doing sit-ups and each time they come up their face is in the naked buttocks of a senior teammate.  Often these humiliating events are in front of the new team member’s girlfriend.  Below are a few questions on most parent’s minds.

1. Is hazing getting worse?

  1. Due to the secretive nature of hazing it is difficult to estimate.
  2. However, when comparing media coverage of hazing since the 80’s there has been a significant increase in the frequency and the severity of the events.
  3. 44 states including Florida have a No Hazing Law, but prevention programs are still lacking in many different ways.
    1. i.     Prevention programs need to be repeatedly reviewed with each school, each athletic team, athletic staff.
    2. ii.     Students need to be taught team building games to increase cohesion.
    3. iii.     Student can earn respect instead of forcing someone into submission with humiliation
    4. iv.     Veteran players need to be placed in a mentoring role rather than a role of dominance.
    5. v.     Parents need to tell their students they do not have to participate and if forced to do so they can report it to their administration at their school.

2. How are children and teens bullying each other today?

  1. Hazing is one dangerous form of bullying under the guise of initiation into a sports team, school clubs, sororities, or fraternities.  It usually involves breaking the law, sexual, emotional, Tattooing or Piercing, and/or physical humiliation.
  2. Cyberbullying, through social networks,
  3. Name Calling,
  4. Racial
  5. Sexual Orientation
  6. Sexting
  7. Physical Aggression
  8. Body Image

3. When do you cross the line when it comes to hazing?

  1. When you can not invite parents, media or school officials to watch the event it’s usually a good sign that the line is going to be crossed.
  2. 82% of deaths reported by hazing (currently 90-96 males & 6 females) were alcohol related
  3. Stricter laws are in place, but need to be renamed to note the severity for prosecutors to use the full extent of the law.

A study conducted by researchers at Alfred University published in 2000, reports that 48% of high school students experienced any form of hazing, and 43% reported experiencing humiliation, 29% reported experiencing potentially illegal hazing and 22% had been subjected to ‘dangerous’ hazing.  Male students were at highest risk, particularly for hazing activities identified as ‘dangerous.’ Males, members of sports teams, and gangs are most likely to engage in substance abuse-related and other dangerous forms of hazing.

Parents and Schools that want to build self-confidence

For More Information on Bullying or Hazing statistics and prevention programs:





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Author Jim West, MA, LMHC Orlando Counselor – Bullying Expert

About the Author:

Adolescent Expert, Jim West offers expert advice to Local and National TV News & Schools Internationally and provides phone or face-to-face counseling in the Orlando area. Jim is an Author, Communicator, School Consultant, Nationally Certified and State Licensed Counselor and specializes in counseling for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADD/ADHD) and Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD). Jim has been interviewed for multiple TV, Radio, magazine and newspaper articles. He is president of Total Life Counseling Center and his Total Life approach accelerates the therapeutic & healing process by relating to children, adolescents and adults and incorporating wellness. Jim’s clients travel from all over Florida, England, Georgia, Cayman Islands and the Bahamas as he has been able to treat clients with ADHD, Anxiety, Mood Disorders, Depression and more with FDA approved supplements and Dietary Modifications. 85% of his clients have not needed medication or used less medication than when they first came to Total Life Counseling Center.

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