LCPS Introduces New Anti-Hazing Update

After a recent school board meeting LCPS has been working to educate on hazing and solidify protocols.

LCPS introduces a new anti-hazing policy, implementing new protocols to protect students.

LCPS introduces a new anti-hazing policy, implementing new protocols to protect students.

“Adam’s Law” is an anti-hazing bill that was unanimously passed in Virginia in January and named after Adam Oakes, who passed away during a fraternity pledging stunt at Virginia Commonwealth University earlier last year. 


LCPS issued an anti-hazing policy [REGULATION 8030] on March 24, 2022, prohibiting hazing. Former superintendent Dr. Scott Ziegler said, “LCPS has taken significant steps to put policies and regulations in place to protect students and ensure fair access to an equitable, safe, and inclusive learning environment for all students.”


According to Ziegler, every hazing report is identified, thoroughly investigated, and dealt with by LCPS protocols. “Addressing complaints of hazing and identifying it are part of our in-service training for staff that interact with students,” Ziegler said.


Adam’s father, Eric Oakes, spoke at a school board meeting on October 25, 2022, to push for more education about hazing in schools. Love Like Adam is a non-profit organization founded by Oakes’ family after his death. According to the website, Love Like Adam wants to spread awareness and educate people about the dangers of hazing.


LCPS is exploring different programs like Love Like Adam for a suitable approach to reach students and convey a personal message to help them understand what hazing is and the effect it can have. “We want to take swift action but also ensure that we are providing the best program and setting it up for long-term success,” Ziegler said.


Hazing incidents are complex for adults to identify because they usually don’t know it’s happening. “The division relies heavily on the students to bring these types of situations and concerns to the attention of administrators so that hazing can be stopped and students protected,” Ziegler said.


LCPS is aware that hazing incidents can leave people feeling humiliated and depressed.  “But just as important is making our mental health resources available to anyone affected by hazing so that they do not feel hopeless or alone,” Ziegler said.


Principal Dr. John Brewer has started to educate faculty and students about hazing by talking to them about rules and respect; but thinks he can do more. “The first week of school, we talked about how you used your hands and voice to treat others with respect,” Brewer said. 


According to Brewer, we have only had one hazing incident involving one of the fall athletic teams, ensuring the hazing protocol was set. “It’s always investigated, parents are contacted, and if necessary, we will alert the police; in this case, it wasn’t necessary to do that,”  Brewer said.


Brewer is confident that most students will follow the regulations and not participate in hazing incidents. “We believe that when you teach students the right thing to do, they almost always do the right thing,” Brewer said.