Law named for Penn State student boosts hazing penalty in New Jersey

New Jersey has increased penalties for hazing under a new law named for a Hunterdon County resident and Penn State student who died in 2017.

News 12 Staff

Aug 24, 2021, 11:11 PM

Updated 965 days ago

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New Jersey has increased penalties for hazing under a new law named for a Hunterdon County resident and Penn State student who died in 2017.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed Timothy J. Piazza's Law on Tuesday and said it was aimed at rooting out hazing to prevent what happened to Piazza.
The law requires schools, colleges and universities to have anti-hazing policies with punishments. It also increases penalties for hazing, including raising prison sentences from up to 18 months to up to five years.
"At the root of this law is the recognition that hazing isn't just forcing a fraternity pledge to drink until they black out or worse. Hazing isn't relegated to college houses with Greek letters over their doors,” Murphy said. “Forcing a high school freshman to face verbal abuse or mental anguish or intimidation or physical pain at the hands of older students to allow them to belong, say, into the locker room or in a club, meeting place. That's hazing. Pure and simple. It's stupid and it's wrong."
Piazza died after getting drunk and falling several times in February 2017 while rushing the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Other people in the home waited hours before finally getting medical attention for Piazza.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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