I-Team: Needham Soccer Players Suspended In Hazing Probe

By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV I-Team

NEEDHAM (CBS) – A Norfolk Superior Judge has upheld the suspensions of five girls on Needham High School’s soccer team who allegedly hazed younger teammates.

The parents of the five students went to court Monday to fight the suspensions, but Judge Barbara Dortch-Okara denied the injuction Tuesday morning, ruling “the plaintiffs have not shown a likelihood of success on the merits at trial.”

The parents sought an injunction against the school principal basically saying he can’t suspend their kids and prevent them from playing.

In her ruling, the judge wrote, “As students have no entitlement to participate in high school sports, there is no due process violation in any exclusion from participation in such activities.”

Needham is scheduled to play Brockton in the state tournament Tuesday evening.

WBZ-TV’s I-Team broke the story Monday night, also revealing that the coach has been placed on leave.

“We are very saddened by the inappropriate conduct that we have learned about through an investigation,” Needham High School principal Jonathan Pizzi told WBZ-TV.


The I-Team has learned four seniors and one freshman were suspended for hazing at least two freshmen girls on the team.

The school is investigating allegations that the freshman girls were pulled on dog leashes while blindfolded and then hit in the face with pies – one so hard her nose bled.

Sources tell the I-Team the leashes left marks on their necks.

Original I-Team report on Needham hazing investigation

“I am very saddened by it and I am very concerned about it in terms of student safety and student character,” Pizzi said.

WBZ has confirmed the coach’s daughter is one of the girls suspended.

The coach, Carl Tarabelli, has been placed on leave. He apparently knew of the incident which happened eleven days ago.

Pizzi says “it is clearly conduct that is inconsistent with the schools beliefs, the school core values, and inconsistent with MIAA rules, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association rules, and we want to address this in a very clear way.”

Read: MIAA Rules On Hazing (.pdf)

Students at the high school were just learning of the suspensions Monday.

One student told the I-Team “I am just aware that it happened and that is about it.”

Another female student told the I-Team “I have just heard that the girls are upset about it but they are not saying much about it.”

The Needham police chief told the I-Team he is aware of the incident. However, he says he is not planning on doing anything at all until the school administration has finished its investigation.

  • sportsmom

    This story has really bothered me. What the girls did was disgusting and they should be suspended and BANNED from all scholastic sports. What I find even more disgusting is the actions of the parents. Shows you how low some in our society have sunk. They are upset that their precious little spoiled brats were suspended and cannot play in a game. Oh boo hoo. And if the shoe was on the other foot? What about the new bullying laws in our state? Is this not a clear cut violation? I have a solution ~ have the girls put on leashes, blindfolded and with pie smeared all over their faces. Have the parents parade around the field pre game carrying signs that state “I support public humiliation” and then let them play. No harm done right parents and girls, this should be a breeze.

    • fgsdgsg

      to sportsmom. that is ridiculos you don’t know what you’re talking about they were just having fun. It’s nnot about society you just need to take it down a notch

      • sportsmom

        My dear fgsdgsg, you are obviously a child by your comment. I don’t know what I am talking about? I am the mother of 7 kids, 4 playing varisty sports in high school. 2 playing in college, and one a varsity female lacrosse coach. NEVER and I mean NEVER has hazing been a part of their “rite of passage” or considered “fun” as some including yourself proclaimed it to be. No instead they are kept way to busy getting their butts kicked by training and practices, team dinners and parties and showing up at games as complete teams ready to play to the best of all their abilities. At the high school level it is hoped that kids have learned right from wrong, but not obviously in this case. Hazing is wrong. That is why it has been banned. That is why the MIAA and MSSAA have actual policies written against it. It is the adults job to make sure those rules are abided by and the parents to make sure their kids now not to participate. The parents are what disgust me here.. they placed more value on the prospect of playing and winning a game than they did on the incident. They are the ones that I believe have caused the most outcry of the whole story. So fgsdgsg, I most certainly do know what I am talking about and someday I hope you look back on this and learn from it.

    • sportsmom

      And to be honest I hope that the game that was going on just recently was won by Needham. I hope they win to show the girls and families involved that they rose above it and went out as a team and played their hearts out and won. Regardless of who sat it out.

    • hlakhfalsk

      funny thing you should mention public humiliation, by supporting and fueling this news story, you’ve offically escalated this from just a team inside joke and team bonding activity to a state wide story. I wonder if the girls are less embarrassed now that the entire state of massachusetts knows about what happened to them instead of just their team. guaranteed you never played sports in high school because you dont know what youre talking about, there’s a difference between being a parent of kids who play and playing, it’s a very fine line.

      • sportsmom

        hlakhfalsk – 4 years, spring soccer, winter gymnastics, spring softball. 3 years of co-captain certaiinly gives me some insight and knowledge. The parents brought this to forefront by trying to get an injunction to allow the girls to play. Case closed.
        This does not reflect the whole town of Needham, which is a wonderful place to live and work. It has many strong community values and morals. It does not reflect the student body of Needham on a whole. Which has many fine, well taught students. This is the ignorance of some young girls who made an extremely bad choice and now paid the consequences. They have been punished with the loss of the game and suspension. They should not be punished further. The parents on the other hand should be thanked and take a long hard look at what matters here. They thankfullly brought a horrible little secret out into the open. Hazing is accepted in Needham and they as the adults need to say it is not okay, not team builiding, not “just having fun”. Just as stealing, bullying, reckless driving, etc. are not. Because all of those were once considered harmless fun also. Usually someone gets hurt beyond what expected and it takes a tragedy to end it. Thankfully that is not the case here.
        Hazing, maybe not the right word – yes I know of it. It was carrying the bags of the older girls, being the last to get on the bus both to and from games, the last to sit and eat. It was also knowing I had teammates to sit and talk to when there were issues at school or home. We were a team, never mean.
        T ogether E veryone A ccomplishes M ore. Hazing divides a team.
        Yesterdays news, time to move on.

  • Just Me

    The suspension should stand. Yes what the girls did was harmless but it still went too far. When I heard the coach’s daughter was in on it I definitely decided the suspension should stay for them and him. He should be fired, I’d bet he knew about it.

    • Ed Hall

      Just Me said “what the girls did was harmless.”

      If you really believe that, then you are no better than the bullies’ parents. Aside from the physical injury (“hit in the face with pies…one so hard her nose bled.”), the incident had to be very humiliating. Attitudes like yours perpetuate this bullying.

    • Glenn Luce

      Harmless bloddy nose and marks on their necks. Not to mention the emotional trauma. What Is this S and M 101?

  • CraftyCat

    I couldn’t agree with you more sportsmom. Just what I was thinking. But I think I would leash and blindfold the parents as well. After all, they seem very supportive of the activity.

  • Macattack

    Chapter 269, Section 17 http://www.miaa.net/hazing-law.pdf
    Crime of Hazing, Definition, Penalty
    Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing, as defined herein,
    shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment
    in a house of correction for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment.
    The term hazing as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, shall
    mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on
    public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental
    health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating,
    branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food,
    liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced
    physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any
    such student or person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental
    stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.
    Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, consent shall not be
    available as a defense to any prosecution under this action. Added by St. 1985, c.536;
    amended by St. 1987, c.665.

  • Macattack

    Chapter 269, Section 18
    Duty to Report Hazing
    Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section
    seventeen and is at the scene of such crime, shall, to the extent that such person can do
    so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law
    enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such
    crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars. Added by St.
    1985, c. 536; amended by St. 1987, c. 665.

  • Dave

    Someone should ask the girls being hazed how much trouble they felt they were in, how much harm could be done.
    Lets stop living in the 1950’s, yes its dumb but these are kids, and I’m willing to bet the girls were laughing the whole time… well until she got a bloody nose that is, I would cry.

    • JJ

      I’m sure if these girls reported the incident, they must have felt themselves being harmed and scared. I wonder if you would be laughing if you were forced to be on all fours, choked by a dog leash and hit in the face with objects. Not! Stop living in the 1950’s…what the heck does that mean?

    • Donna

      I’m tired of hearing “these are kids”. Since when are rules made to be broken? When are these kids going to take responsibility for their irresponsible actions. And what about the parents – when are they going to take responsibility for their irresponsible kids? The school administration is right in their actions.

    • Daniel

      America has lost it’s sense of humor. Hazing has been around for a century. If only the internet was around in the 70s and 80s to report the hazing back then. Today is nothing compared to it thanks to liberals and political correctness.

      • Avon Barksdale

        Did Daniel just say “if not for the meddling jerky liberals, hazing would still be AWESOME”?

        Man, you folks in Needham got some strange neighbors.

  • Former Needham resident

    These parents need to teach their kids to be responsible for their actions.

  • Reason B. Gone

    Only a parent completely lacking a genuine (and healthy) relationship with their child would go to bat for them after such a clear violation. Nothing like reinforcing that it ain’t wrong if it can’t be proved in court. Way to go Needham- awesome parenting!

  • Jay

    Shame on the kids for not knowing better. But even more shame on the parents for trying to go to court to get their precious little darlings reinstated. Whatever happened to responsibility in this country of ours?

    As far as the coach is concerned, if it turns out that he knew and did nothing, he should be fired.

  • Avon Barksdale

    From the Needham High School Student Handbook:

    Misconduct of a serious nature that has a direct relationship to the school may result in suspension or expulsion, even when the specific conduct does not take place at school or a school-sponsored event. If a student engages in conduct outside of school that causes substantial disruption to the school environment, such conduct may be considered as the basis for discipline, up to and including expulsion.

  • Avon Barksdale

    “As far as the coach is concerned, if it turns out that he knew and did nothing, he should be fired.”

    As an added bonus, the coach’s daughter is a senior goalkeeper. It is not known if she was involved in the incident.

  • EX

    I played on the NHS soccer team 10 years ago and believe me, this is G rated compared to some of the stuff we did and in turn had done to us when we were on the team. While hazing can go too far (ie kids getting seriosuly hurt, etc), its a natural part of being on a team and building loyalty, and anyone that says otherwise is lying or has a completely distorted picture of reality when it comes to high school competitive sports. Any team I have ever been on, in high school, Division 1 in college, has had its rituals and hazing, especaiily in regards to older teammates versus younger teammates-it is a rite of passage whether people agree with it or not-it happens. I am in no way saying that it should ever go so far that someone should get hurt, but I think everyone is blowing this way out of proportion. I guarantee one of these freshman girls complained to their parents (probably the one with the bloody nose), who in turn went to the school board. Now, NHS girls soccer, which has a shot to win the state title (and haven’t done this well in a season in far too long) will falter to Brockton without a goalie or 4 of their senior players. It was unfortunate that this came out so close to the playoffs. But to suspend these players and put the coach on leave because his daughter happened to be one of the students, is ludicrous. Parents need to calm down. Helicopter parenting within this school system and town is ridiculous. It is not the town that I remember growing up in. Why don’t you go ask the football team or the lacrosse team what type of hazing they participate in? I assure you, it is far worse. Schools and parents these days are so inflexible and so quick to jump to conclusions. Hope the family of the kid who went to the board can deal with the backlash she is going to get for the next 3 years when it comes out they lost a shot at the title because of her.

    • Anti-EX

      I played both high school and college sports and never faced hazing. The “right of passage” line is ridiculous. Way to paint the victims of this inhumane act as the violators.

      Do I think some of our laws and rules have gotten out of hand by over-coddling our kids? Absolutely. That being said, the laws and rules I am a fan of are bullying and hazing laws. Nobody should have to be disgraced by being dragged around on dog leashes. In fact, I don’t even care so much about the bloody nose as I do about the humiliation.

      Not to mention, you’re missing larger overall point. It’s irrelevant if you like or don’t like the rules/laws that have come into play here. They are the rules. The student handbook makes clear that this behavior is unacceptable. Actions always bring consequences: good or bad. The consequences for these girls’ actions are bad. It’s nobody else’s fault.

      I think it’s ludicrous that you would put such significance and importance of a game over the dignity of a human being. You sir…are part of the problem.

      • Anit-EX (philosophically)

        Rather than saying YOU are part of the problem EX, I think it would be more appropriate to say “THE MINDSET OF THINKING YOU ARE USING”. I thought I should clarify so you do not think I meant this as a personal attack on you, as I was simply desiring to disagree with the points you made and not attack YOU. Sorry if it came across that way. Thanks.

      • Michelle

        Nicely put AntiEx. Attitudes like that of EX are why this nonsense continues. As far as any backlash, that also should not be tolerated. She had the guts to come forward. Clearly, she is going to make something of herself. I hope the bullies that were the ringleaders enjoy thier view from the stands. They have nobody to blame but themsleves. Embarrassing a group of younger girls was more importnant that thier team. Nice work ladies (and I use that term very loosely)

    • Ex=WRONG

      I too was part of NHS teams 10 years ago, and there is no way that I would have participated in something that I needed to be hazed to be a part of. Some things in life aren’t worth it.

      It is shameful that these girls are being defended by their parents. All the parents are doing is teaching their daughters that consequences don’t apply to them, and sorry girls, they do. This lazy parental behavior is what leads to generations of snobby, cliquey girls who think they can run right over people, and treat people poorly becuase they feel that they are better than them. Hate to break it to you, but playing Soccer in high school doesn’t make you better than anyone else. And those girls need to learn that lesson now.

      And seriously? You are worried about the title? You realize that it is a HIGH SCHOOL State Title, right? There are so many actually important things in life, like Cancer, Aids, War, the Economy…and you are getting up in arms because of a possible NHS State Title. I would re-analyze my priorities if I were you, or grow up.

      And hopefully the family of the kid who went to the board will realize, like most intelligent and educated people, that they didn’t lose a shot at the title because of her, they lost a shot at the title, when the older girls decided to abuse and haze their teammates. They shouldn’t be allowed to be part of organized sports for the rest of their high school career. Period. They obviously can’t handle the respect and responsibility that goes along with it.

      • EX = SO RIGHT

        you clearly do not understand the real meaning of hazing. if someone asked you to sing a song and take a pie to the face, would you honestly quit the team and walk away? get real. there is no shame in initiating younger girls, it brings the team closer and creates a bond between all members. it is something that everyone has to go through, and no one gets hurt. if the things that were making the girls do were dangerous, it would be a different story, but seriously? pie? singing? don’t be stupid…a state title is a huge deal, whether you think it is or not, and many girls future soccer careers could hinge on this. would you really take that away from them for a silly stunt that they went through as well? get off your high horse. you may think that high school is about preparing you for college and the real world, teaching the “respect and responsibility” that you claim these girls can’t handle, but clearly you didn’t go to high school anytime in the recent past, because thats not what its about. its ALL about the cliques and the intimidation of older kids and rights of passage for younger kids on varsity teams. if they were good enough to make the team, they should be tough enough to take the “responsibility” that comes with it, whether its winning a state title or taking a pie to the face. in this case, its both.

      • EX = SO WRONG

        If an individual feels threatened, hurt, or humiliated through emotional, or physical force, it is hazing. So regardless of what you think is harmless activity, it can certainly fall into the definition of hazing from the perspective of the individual being subjected to such activity.

      • Anti-EX

        “if they were good enough to make the team, they should be tough enough to take the “responsibility” that comes with it”

        There is absolutely no way hazing can be considered a responsibility by a team member. What an asinine comment.

    • rockets13

      I too went to NHS played 3 sports and yes I was hazed a little bit as a younger student athlete, and yes my grade did carry on some of those “hazing traditions.” And I admit it was foolish and immature. BUT when we did what we did we all knew the risks that came with, while doing it, and looking back it was such a big risk. We all watched the videos and listened to speakers and went through the school handbook. It was so clear that hazing is against the school policies for sporting team we knew it, and these girls had to have known it (I mean they push it down our throats). I feel that the punishment fits the crime. It’s the same thing as getting caught drinking and being suspended for games. There are consequences to things we do, and for these parents to try to fight the consequences just teaches our kids that they do not apply to the rules and policies. You don’t have to agree with the rules but they are still the rules! Sorry Needham parents and students.. but yes rules do apply to all of us even if a state championship on the line.

      • EX = SO RIGHT--Response from me and my High Horse

        The real meaning of hazing?!?! The real meaning of hazing is to make yourself feel superior to someone by tearing them down and forcing them to degrade themselves.
        If someone asked me to degrade myself and my self-worth, I would walk away. It’s called having a backbone and some self-worth. That is something that my GOOD parents instilled in me when I was very young.
        It is also possible to initiate younger girls and create a group bond without hazing or humiliating them. It just takes an intelligent mind to come up with it, something which you apparently lack.
        I’m not being stupid. I am aware that a state title CAN be a big deal, but if the girls really saw it as a BIG deal and wanted to use it to further their soccer careers, then they would have taken it a little more seriously by, say, not abusing kids. Putting a dog leash on another student and hitting them in the face, with pie, or anything else, is not a “silly stunt.” It’s mental and physical abuse. Plus these girls are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong. If they chose to act poorly and haze the younger players, then they know the risk they are taking. So if something gets taken away from them based on their actions, or their “silly stunt” as you call it, then they completely deserve the consequences.
        The problem is, they don’t believe the rules apply to them.

        If you had read my post, you would see that I started with the fact that I was in high school 10 years ago, which I am pretty sure qualifies as the “recent past.” High School is different, but not THAT different. During my tenure, NHS may have had cliques and intimidations by older kids, and rites of passage(there is no such thing as a “right” of passage), there were also players that were role models and mentors.
        You can be a skilled soccer player and be tough enough to make the team, without having to “take the responsibility” to degrade yourself.
        A special bonus to me “on my high horse” is when I go back and visit Needham, I find that the bullies and older kids that thought that consequences didn’t apply to them when I was in high school are the ones waiting on me at restaurants or pumping my gas.

    • no.

      EX – Just because something has been going on for a long time does not mean it is right and okay. I have also played high school and Division 1 college sports. The teams i was on had no form of hazing (other than the occasional, freshman go carry the gear to the bus) and they were extremely healthy teams with strong bonds between all the players. This has absolutely nothing to do with helicopter parenting. This is black and white. Hazing is wrong. Slavery went on for a long time before we ended it, does that mean it was right and a natural part of life?

  • KJF

    I would be more than happy to help you folks down off your “high horse”. Have any of you played school sports? I think not. No one was hurt, including the player with the nosebleed. I am not a parent with any connection to this incident, my youngest is twenty-four. All three of my children played one sport or another and all were “initiated” in one way or another, with no lasting scars, just fond memories. This is another case of an old adage: “the surest way to mess up a kid’s game is to involve adults”. I am sure that the girls on the receiving side of this harmless initiation are now hiding their heads in embarrassment and disbelief over a few parent’s overreaction.


      I appreciate the help down from my “high horse.” But I think I can manage it. Or should I get down by stepping on the backs of others, like the Needham soccer girls?
      You asked if I played school sports, and the answer is yes, so your thought process appears to be wrong. No one was hurt? I am pretty sure a bloody nose based on excessive force classifes as an injury.

      Your kids were “initiated?” And you are proud of this fact? Even though it usually includes large amounts of alcohol or advanced sexual activity, property damage or physical or emotional abuse. Aaaahh yes…fond memories. Memories any parent should be OH so proud of.

      I would hope that the girls on the receiving side of this harmFUL initiation are happy that their parents support them more than you apparently supported your children.

    • KJF-Check your definition of "Initiated"

      1. To set going by taking the first step; begin:
      2. To introduce to a new field, interest, skill, or activity.

      If these girls were being “initiated,” shouldn’t that have taken place at the BEGINNING of the season?? … seeing as the definition of initiate means beginning or first step. If kids are being “initiated” in November, it is not an initiation to welcome them into a new team or group of girls, it is hazing for the sake of hazing. I wonder what activities your kids participated in while they were being “Initiated” in one way or another. I’m sure if they were honest with you about it, now that time has passed, you would be shocked and appalled.

  • jaygee

    Unfortunately, hazing has been going on for a very long time and will continue to despite the warnings against it. Bullying has also been present since the beginning of time and will continue because it is, sadly enough, a part of human nature. How can young kids in school listen to adults who preach against hazing and bullying when they just have to listen to the news and see what the adults are doing every day both in this state and around the world?

  • Avon Barksdale

    “its a natural part of being on a team and building loyalty, and anyone that says otherwise is lying or has a completely distorted picture of reality when it comes to high school competitive sports.”


    You’re living in an America that has come and gone. Not only that, but in the civilized world, hazing rituals were on the outs as long as 25 years ago. I played on a state championship football team and joined a fraternity full of athletes, and NEVER got treated in any way even roughly analagous to this freakshow. The overtones of the leashes are not lost on me, are they lost on you?

    And really, that’s a nice sentiment – calling out the kid whose parents went to the board. Is she the one who got the bloody nose? Because if my kid comes home with a smashed up face and I have to take her to the hospital, I’m not sitting on my hands because “we can win a state title.” My daughters are varsity soccer players in another town, and frankly I would throw any “shot at a title” right in the garbage can if this nonsense were happening on their team.

    Having stood next to the Needham parents on the sideline when we played them a few weeks back, I can see why you would react this way. What a bunch of loudmouth jerks.

  • Needham Parent

    I agree – the parents in this case going to court is one of the biggest offenses here. These girls need to face their consequences and that will be the best learning experience for them – having mom / dad bail them out will be a crime

  • Avon Barksdale

    Apparently in Needham “snitches get stitches.”

  • Harry Klein

    On face value this story is extremely disturbing and those involved worthy of our anger and scorn. The notion of dog leashes around young women’s necks is wrong on too many levels to enumerate.

    Here’s the “but”…Knowing the coach (and yes, he’s loud and competitive) and some of the players, I have a nagging suspicion that the whole story hasn’t yet been told.

    If this is the whole story and it’s true, the coach and players should be suspended. The parents should be less concerned about going to court than their daughters’ behavior. No game, chance at a state title or any other opportunity takes precedence over human dignity.

    All that said, I would like additional information and corroboration before I make a judgment.

  • DavidW

    The crazy part of the story is not that hazing occurred – it’s the nutty parents who are seeking an injunction through the courts so their daughters can play after they broke the rules and were caught. I have a simple solution: the hazed kids should sue the hazing parents for assault and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. Maybe that will teach the parents to not clog up our courts with a high school game. What lesson are you teaching your kids? It’s ok to break laws as long as you have a good lawyer?

  • jsmith77

    Hazing builds character, stop being wimps about it, toughen up or dont play sports

    • JSmith=WRONG

      Are you kidding me JSmith? Are you really that ignorant?
      Hazing builds character? You sound like the stereotypical jock jerk in every 80’s movie. You know the one….that ends up being a washed-up has been.

      Hazing doesn’t build character….it tears down self-esteem and self-worth.
      You shouldn’t have to be able to withstand abuse in order to play a sport or be part of a team.

      I feel sorry for you and your obtuse, narrow-minded view of the world. And I certainly feel sorry for your children or future children that have to be raised with a parent with such a skewed view on reality. It is those exact views and that pressure that lead to teen suicide.

      Hazing doesn’t build character…Hazing leads to abusive adults and future criminals.

  • Avon Barksdale

    >>> “Hazing builds character, stop being wimps about it, toughen up or dont play sports”


    By any chance, do you coach in Needham?

  • Former Athlete

    I played HS, D1 College, and even 2 years of Minor League baseball and was NEVER hazed. The worst that was done to me was being made to carry equipment onto the field as a freshman. I think that the people invovled should be punished because there are rules stating that this type of behavior is not OK. The parents should also be ashamed of themselves.

  • Sulia

    As the parent of a senoir soccer player whose team is playing in the state tournament, I have seen the girls humiliate and degrade their teammates in the name of “team bonding”. I am glad this behavior has finally had some real consequences and may give pause to other teams who participate in this manner.
    As for the parents, shame on them.

  • Div. 1 Athlete with a conscience

    I too played a D1 sport in college and was never hazed in high school or college. Hazing is a horrendous tradition that must be put to rest. Surely there are better ways to “build character” and team unity. Perhaps those doing the hazing see it as fun because they’re finally getting their revenge on what was done to them. Even if a student is laughing while being hazed, it doesn’t mean he/she is enjoying it and not hurting from within. Playing sports builds character, teamwork, confidence, and resiliency. Hazing does far more harm than good, irregardless of whether parents get involved or not. It’s beyond time to take back sportsmanship. There are much better ways to welcome freshmen to the team. How about seniors carry their bags and show respect to the freshmen – reverse the traditions to the utmost.

  • The Graduate

    I recently graduated Needham High and played many sports. From what I saw, heard, and talked about, the boys teams haven’t hazed in decades, whereas the girls teams haze more often, even over minor personal feuds. It is very unfortunate that hazing escalated to this point, but suspending girls or taking legal action only makes them martyrs.

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