Posted: 5:17 PM, May 9, 2012
Reporter: Lanetra Bennett
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
A national anti-hazing hotline is up and running in Tallahassee.
A Tallahassee couple developed the hotline.
The hazing death of a FAMU drum major did inspire the new hotline. But, Dr. Barbara Barnes says what makes it different from other hotlines is it doesn’t just focus on college Greek organizations.
The “American Anti-Haze Hotline” is for any one, organization, grade school, or university anywhere in the country.
“You have reached the national hazing hotline, Anti-haze.” The phone message says.
Dr. Barbara Barnes says a simple phone call could save a life. She says, “Hazing hurts and even kills.”
Barnes and her husband developed a national anti-hazing hotline.
The Barnes say it started as an idea to combat bullying. Then, after the November hazing death of FAMU Marching 100 drum major Robert Champion, they took action.
Dr. Barnes says, “You just have to become not judge and jury for people and what they do and what they are. But, instead of cursing the darkness about this whole process, we wanted to light a candle.”
All reports from calls are forwarded to the appropriate school or law enforcement official.
The hotline has three proponents.
Alarm: “If this call is about stopping a hazing activity that is happening now, press one.”
Alert: “If this call is about preventing a hazing activity that is planned, press two.”
And Report: “If this call is about reporting a hazing activity that has already happened, press three.”
Malcolm Barnes says, “If the people who receive the call respond properly, by even just appearing on the scene, can dispel or disperse these activities which can ruin lives.”
Dr. Barnes says, “We want our students to be able to go to college or to high school and get a diploma and not bring home a death certificate.”
The hotline also offers workshops and training about making good choices.
The number is 1-855-NOHAZIN or 1-855-664-2946. All callers can remain anonymous.