Within the new anti-hazing initiative
The parents of the victims and the Greek life leaders of a team to prevent hazing; parents share their stories about ‘The Story.’
Parents and national leaders of fraternities and sororities the launch of a national anti-hazing campaign, spoke to Fox News, expressing deep concern about the death of too many young students.
Tim Piazza and Marquise Braham told their parents that they just wanted to make new friends by joining fraternities, while away from home at the Penn State University. Neither have much of a chance: They both died before their 20th birthdays after brutal hazing rituals.
The new coalition plans to parents to speak to as many 25,000 students this academic year, about the dangers of hazing, and to members of the Greek societies themselves speak to middle and high school students.
Judson Horras, president and CEO of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, said a change will happen by winning the hearts and minds of students.
“It is the authentic connection and the drilling of young men in the heart and how they were raised,” he said on “The Story” with Martha MacCallum. “These parents have the unique opportunity to do that, that I was not in my position.”
He noted that the accountability should be increased at the university and the law enforxement levels. One of the first orders of business for this new coalition is to increase the pressure on the legislatures in all 50 states to toughen anti-hazing laws. They want lawmakers to make it a crime to force a student to consume alcohol during an initiation.
Rich Braham, whose 18-year-old son, Marquise, committed suicide in 2014 after a brutal attack of hazing that he had complained to the officials of the school, said their mission is the question of fraternities to look to their brothers: “It is not normal to look to your brother, to the tortured.”
Jim Piazza said he believes the Greek system can be reformed. His 19-year-old son died a painful death last year after he was allegedly ordered to binge-drinking 80-proof vodka, until he was so drunk that he fell repeatedly, including down a flight of stairs, and was in pain for hours before medical help was called. More than two dozen members of the Piazza ‘ s Beta Thea Pi fraternity at Penn State were arrested, but all felony charges, including murder, were eventually lost. Three people have since pleaded guilty to crimes.
The coalition’s mission is strongly focused on prevention, and Horras said a lot can be done by means of “just the importance of teaching children of modest kindness.”
Fox News’ Martha MacCallum, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Frank Miles is a reporter and editor related geopolitical, military, crime, technology, and sports for FoxNews.com. His e-mail is Frank.Miles@foxnews.com.