(HARRISBURG) – The Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law – sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34) – passed a crucial hurdle today with the state House voting unanimously to adopt the wide-ranging antihazing measure.
“We are embarking on the final steps in a long journey for Tim’s family who have turned their personal tragedy in to a mission to save others,” Senator Corman said. “It has been my honor to walk with them as we work toward comprehensively rewriting the state’s hazing laws in order to prevent death or serious injury due to hazing. I am grateful for the House’s support.”
The Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law focuses on prevention, enforcement and transparency in order to end hazing. The bill was introduced by Senator Corman in March and first passed by the Senate in April.
The House amended Senate Bill 1090, meaning the bill will return to the Senate for another vote. Senator Corman said he will bring the amended bill to the full Senate for consideration next week.
“In making these changes, we are establishing a model for strengthening antihazing laws nationwide,” Senator Corman said. “This law will provide prosecutors with the tools they need to fully prosecute those who engage in hazing-related activities. Students will have information they need to make informed choices about the groups they consider joining and safe harbor provisions so they can call for help for someone in distress without fear of prosecution.”
The proposed bill increases penalties for those involved in hazing; requires schools to have policies and reporting procedures in place to stop hazing; and ensures that parents and students are provided with information related to the issue. It also establishes clear-cut parameters on hazing for organizations such as fraternities and sororities.
Video of Senator Corman talking about the plans for the amended Timothy J. Piazza Law.
According to the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, there have been no convictions under the third-degree misdemeanor antihazing statute during the last decade that have resulted in anything more than probation. The low number of convictions under the antihazing statute is the result of most hazing-related activities being charged under a different, more substantiv offense such as furnishing alcohol to minors or reckless endangerment.
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