This week, Dalhousie University suspended all of the non-rookie members of its women’s hockey team after a 3-month investigation into a hazing incident of rookie players. Because that only left 5 rookies on the team, the school has forfeited the remainder of the hockey season.
It only took one of those suspended girls mothers a day to complain to the Chronicle-Herald newspaper that her daughter was just devastated and that they would be fighting the suspension.
Well, boo-frickin-who, Mom. Cry me a river. Are you friggin’ kidding me, here? Your daughter was involved in something that humiliated, intimidated and put in harm’s way someone else’s daughter and you want us to feel sorry for her? You want us to say, “Oh well, girls will be girls”???
This mom said that the incident was nothing, really, just “silly stuff”. According to what her daughter told her, some of the girls put Vaseline in the rookie girls’ hair and made them dress up in funny costumes. This doesn’t exactly jive with the three-month investigation by the university, which found that the incident included “excessive drinking, intimidation and humiliation”.
As a rookie, you don’t want to be seen as the kid who can’t take it. So you go along with the humiliation, sometimes even with a smile on your face. These were girls the rookies no doubt looked up to and wanted to impress. But it was wrong.
Hazing is just another form of bullying, pure and simple.
The mom in the Herald article lamented that her daughter and the other suspended players were really nice girls and whined, “It’s just so unfair.”
Actually, Mom, it’s the opposite of unfair, which is…uh, FAIR! Your daughter broke the rules and now she and her teammates are paying the price. You should be thankful they weren’t kicked out of university. In fact, they weren’t sanctioned in any way academically. And they can try out for the team next year. Not exactly a tar and feathering.
“My daughter has been working to play varsity since she was 10 years old. This has been her life. She said, “Mom, what I am I going to do without hockey?” said the Mother of the Suspended Dal Tiger.
Well, Mom, let me help you out here because you seem to be a little confused. Why don’t you try saying this?
Honey, I know you are disappointed and upset, but what you did was wrong. I know you don’t think it was wrong, but it was. Actions have consequences and this is yours. You won’t be able to play university hockey this year, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on hockey altogether. You can help coach a team of younger girls or set up your own group and play at lunchtime. Maybe you can help out with an anti-bullying group, because really that’s what hazing is…bullying. And I don’t want you to be a bully. You’re a smart, kind, talented, athletic girl. Take your lumps and learn from them. I know you’ll come out a better person for it.”
This is what the irate mom could tell her daughter. But sadly, I don’t think she will. I think she’ll continue to search for a pro-bono* lawyer who will help her fight for her daughter’s ‘right’ to play varsity hockey. And her daughter will learn nothing from the incident except that ‘SHE’ was the victim.
And the cycle of bullying will continue to spin out of control.
*Seriously? Pro-bono? You don’t even want to pay for this fight? Who is your kid? Nelson Mandela?