There’s a move afoot in Lake Highlands among some parents and teachers to show students a documentary film about hazing with alcohol. The film, called “Haze,” gives students a frank and sometimes frightening warning about the dangers and realities of binge drinking on college campuses – in particular the peer pressure involved in hazing within fraternities and other campus organizations.
LHHS Social Studies teacher Casey Boland discovered the film during the AFI Film Festival at NorthPark. The subject is the death of University of Colorado student Gordie Bailey during a fraternity hazing incident, including interviews with his family, his friends, and experts on the effects of alcohol. Ms. Boland contacted the Richardson ISD in hopes that students would have an opportunity to see the film, whether in health class, a pep rally, a senior assembly, or other opportunity. She has recruited Jill Darling, Director of Student Assistance for the district, and Walter Kelly, LHHS principal, to help her advocate for the showing of the film.
Boland wants students to understand that these incidents are preventable to give them a chance to craft their own personal policy about alcohol and hazing before they ever arrive on campus. She also wants those who tend to watch hazing as spectators to become empowered to keep the crazies from going overboard. Finally, she wants all students to understand the idea of “letting the drunk sleep it off” in the back room of the frat house or dormitory is wrong-headed and dangerous. Frankly, what seemed like a slam-dunk has been more difficult than she expected.
I urge you to watch the film for yourself – it lasts 36 minutes and is free using this link. If you’d like to share your opinion with Principal Kelly, you may comment here or email him directly (please put HAZE in the subject line).