Education Code - Hazing

Education Code § 51.936 requirement to publish a summary of Education Code Ch. 37, subchapter F. Hazing in the University Catalog

The following is a summary of Chapter 37, subchapter F. (§§ 37.151-157) of the Texas Education Code, which prohibits hazing in Texas public or private high schools. Texas Education Code §51.936 applies Ch. 37’s prohibition on hazing to institutions of higher education. This summary of Chapter 37 is provided as required by § 51.936(d).

Summary

Hazing is a criminal violation under Texas law. A person may be found guilty of criminal conduct for hazing, encouraging hazing, permitting hazing, or having knowledge of the planning of hazing incidents and failure to report in writing his/her knowledge to the Dean of Students.

Both failing to report hazing and hazing that does not result in serious bodily injury are Class B misdemeanors. Hazing that results in serious bodily injury is a Class A misdemeanor. Hazing resulting in a death is a state jail felony. An organization found guilty of hazing may be fined $5,000 to $10,000 or, for incidents causing personal injury or property damage, an amount double the loss or expenses incurred because of the hazing incident. It is not a defense to prosecution that the person hazed consented to the hazing activity.

Any person reporting a specific hazing incident to the Dean of Students or other appropriate institutional official is immune from civil and criminal liability unless the report is in bad faith or malicious.

The state law does not limit or affect an educational institution’s right to enforce its own penalties against hazing.

The Education Code defines hazing as “any intentional, knowing, or reckless act occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, by one person or acting with others, directed against a student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in an organization.” The statute contains a list of conduct which constitutes hazing.

In order to report suspected incidents of hazing, please contact either the Office of the Dean of Student Life at (979) 845-3111 or the Texas A&M University Police Department at (979) 845-2345. For information on how to report suspected incidents of hazing, go to http://stophazing.tamu.edu/report