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Don’t make excuses for fraternity hazing

Most of us have a tendency to look back on our youth through a filter. Our antics were harmless … kids will be kids. When we are reminded how reckless we were, sometimes we go into a defensive stance. We did nothing wrong, and young people doing the same thing now shouldn’t be in trouble for it, either.

A horrifying recent incident comes from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where 20-year-old Stone Foltz died after an alleged hazing incident involving alcohol.

It is absurd that hazing of any kind is still viewed as an acceptable part of fraternity or sorority life.

But kids not too far removed from high school grew up on stories about the glories of others’ college days. They have been told this is tradition. It is the way it has always been.

It is hard for adults to punish young people for doing something they did at that age. Doing so means acknowledging the adults were in the wrong, way back when, too. It is easier to smile and use phrases like “they get it honestly,” or “we were just like that at their age.”

Enough. Parents and the adults guiding these organizations must make clear this behavior is unequivocally wrong. Fraternities and sororities must understand the adults in their lives will no longer cling to their own mistakes as justification for bad behavior.

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