Hazing Laws In Georgia And What You Need To Know

by | Feb 28, 2022

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Understanding Hazing and the Law

 

Hazing can be a serious issue, not just for the person being targeted but also for those involved in the activity. In Georgia, there are clear laws to protect students from hazing, and the Frye Law Group is here to provide you with the information you need.

 

What is Hazing Under Georgia Law?

Georgia Code § 16-5-61 (2022) defines hazing as subjecting a student to any activity that:

  • Endangers or is likely to endanger their physical health
  • Coerces the student through social or physical pressure to consume any food, liquid, alcohol, drug, or other substance that puts them at risk of vomiting, intoxication, or unconsciousness

The law applies regardless of the student’s willingness to participate. This means even if someone says they’re okay with an activity, it can still be considered hazing under school safety laws. It’s also important to note that hazing can occur in any setting, not just schools.

 

What Activities Are Considered Hazing in Georgia?

Hazing laws in Georgia cover a wide range of activities, including:

  • Forced or coerced consumption of alcohol or drugs
  • Beating or paddling
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Emotional abuse and bullying
  • Forced nudity or public humiliation
  • Endurance tests and physical challenges

These are just some examples, and the law is not limited to these activities. Under Georgia law, any action that endangers a student’s physical health or coerces them to participate in risky behaviors can be considered hazing.

 

Who is Protected Under Georgia’s Hazing Law?

The law protects any student enrolled or prospectively enrolled in a school within Georgia. This includes students in:

  • Public schools
  • Private schools
  • Colleges and universities

 

What are the Penalties for Hazing in Georgia?

Hazing is considered a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature in Georgia. While there’s no set penalty, a conviction could result in:

  • Jail time
  • Fines
  • Probation

 

What Should You Do If You or Someone You Know is Being Hazed?

 

If you or someone you know is being hazed, it’s essential to report it immediately. Here are some resources:

  • School officials: Report the hazing to a teacher, principal, or other school administrator.
  • Law enforcement: If the hazing is serious or involves threats of violence, contact the police.
  • StopHazing.org: This organization provides resources and support for those affected by hazing.

 

The Frye Law Group Can Help

If you have been injured or suffered emotional distress as a result of hazing, the Frye Law Group can help. We have experienced criminal defense attorneys who can advise you of your legal rights and options. Contact us today for a free consultation.