Anti-Hazing Bill Advances Past House

Rep. Monica Youngblood

STATE  News:

SANTA FE – This afternoon, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 427, a bill sponsored by Rep. Monica Youngblood (R-Bernalillo) to prevent hazing in New Mexico’s schools. The House approved the bill by a 56 to 2 vote.

Youngblood’s bill would require every New Mexico educational institution to adopt, post, and enforce a hazing prevention policy. The bill defines what actions are considered hazing and lists the areas that hazing policies need to address to ensure the policies are consistent statewide.

According to recent statistics, forty-eight percent of high school students—more than 1.5 million kids—report being subjected to hazing. Forty percent of the students who were hazed said that an adult was aware of that hazing was taking place. Twenty-seven percent of students do not have confidence that adults would be able to adequately respond to a hazing incident.

“Hazing has no place in New Mexico’s schools,” Youngblood said. “Yet, New Mexico is one of six states without an anti-hazing law. Every year, there is at least one person in this country who dies as a result of hazing. Ensuring New Mexico schools have uniform anti-hazing policies that are consistently enforced will protect the safety of students both in high school and in college. We only have a few days left in this session, and I hope the Senate will move quickly on this legislation.”

House Bill 427 will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.