By Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)
When I read the news sometimes I just want to cry. It seems the news is filled with hate, prejudice, evil and just plain mean stuff!
The following article about a young man who was “hazed” to death in a college band and beaten so badly that his muscles were destroyed, made me just have to stop and “take a breath” before I could continue to read such a sad story.
An entire group of college age young adults who would inflict such punishment on a fellow band member, a person they probably called a “friend,” is beyond belief to me. This was not some group of inner city dropped out kids on drugs who were gang members; these young people were the “flower” of our society, receiving an education at college level.
I sincerely doubt that any of these young people who pummeled their friend hard enough to destroy his muscles intended for him to die, or be so severely injured that he would be crippled, yet that is exactly what they did. They killed him. The entire group on the bus participated in manslaughter.
In light of the Penn State scandal of child abuse that was “openly rumored” around campus, this school also had “open rumors” about hazing in the band that was no “big secret.” Apparently it was not seriously addressed by the band director or the administration of the school. I can only imagine what the family of this young man feels after his death, knowing that he wanted to be accepted badly enough that he was willing to participate in such a “ritual.”
I sincerely doubt that many, if any, of the young people who participated in such a ritual were what we would likely label as “psychopathic.” But for whatever reason that can be ascribed to the behavior that led to this young man’s mutilation and torture (I can’t find other words that fit), they behaved in a way that is totally unacceptable in a civilized society.
In order to stop this kind of behavior it is going to take not only the administrations of schools, coaches, and directors of programs, but it is going to take students who will stand up and say, “I will not be a part of this kind of behavior. I will not participate.”
I think about the times that I have participated in things that were painful to me, just like this young man did, because I wanted to be accepted by the people who were pummeling me with their words or their fists. I was afraid to stand up and say, “I don’t deserve to be treated like this,” or say, “People who treat me like this are NOT my friends, because friends do not hurt each other.” I felt shamed when those I loved treated me poorly, lied to me, physically or emotionally hurt me, but I’ve decided to stand up now, to face those who try to tell me that I must be abused in order to be accepted. To face those who would abuse me, and say a resounding “NO!!!! I will not be abused.”
Let us all stand up for those who are not yet strong enough to stand up and shout “NO!” and to speak out for them that abuse is NOT OKAY!