Because we’re smack in the middle of a huge NFL hazing controversy right now of which everyone on the planet seems to have an opinion, three Hutchinson High School (Kansas) football players thought it would be a good time to allegedly brand some younger teammates with hot coat hangers.
And to push things up a bit on the moron meter, two of offending players are 18 years old, which means they get to be charged as adults.
But the third, 16-year-old Cody Curl, is the only one currently in jail: because his by far is the most interesting rap sheet. Behold:
Curl is currently on probation for aggravated battery charges from May and September 2012. The teenager also has 16 pending burglary, theft and criminal-use-of-a-financial-card charges filed Oct 21. Greg Bell, Curl’s attorney, opposed [Reno County Chief Judge Patricia] Macke Dick’s decision, claiming the defendant is a good student, about to start work on a construction site and is capable of self-discipline, something Curl learned as a high school wrestler. Reno County Assistant District Attorney Cheryl Allen disagreed.
Quite a resume for a 16-year-old. The state filed formal charges against all three on Tuesday, accusing them of branding other players on their stomachs with wire hangers. The hangers, apparently, were not heated by an outside source, but rubbed against the skin until the friction created heat.
Kendric Hudson and Jaiden Casanova, both 18, are charged with felony aggravated battery and hazing. Hudson is facing three felony battery charges, while Casanova is facing one. Hazing is a misdemeanor. While both adults are out on bond from the Reno County jail, 16-year-old Cody Curl, charged with aggravated battery and unlawful possession of tobacco, will remain in the Reno County Juvenile Detention Center, Reno County Chief Judge Patricia Macke Dick ruled Tuesday morning at a detention hearing.
As we saw recently in the Robert Champion case at Florida A&M, hazing can go horribly wrong, and isn’t just something to laugh at in “Animal House”. Most schools have anti-hazing rules — Hutchinson does — and it’s just a case of enforcement. Because kids will be stupid.
So educators, stop enforcing zero tolerance policies on the plastic butter knives that kids bring for lunch, and get on the bullying and hazing — the things that do real damage.
By the way, this is the only hazing that I endorse: