Expansion to anti-hazing law passes Senate

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By: Capitol News Service
April 24, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) – The Florida Senate on Tuesday morning approved a bill that would expand the state's anti-hazing law.

The change would allow people who solicit another to commit a hazing crime to face prosecution, not just those who directly carry out the offense.

It also includes immunity protections for those who report hazing.

The legislation comes in response to the 2017 death of Florida State University fraternity pledge Andrew Coffey.

“Andrew was a hard worker, a loyal friend. He was in the ROTC and he was the captain of his swim team. Andrew's death was preventable,” said sponsor Senator Lauren Book.

The bill must now be given final approval by the Florida House before it’s sent to the governor’s desk.

By: Associated Press
March 11, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida's anti-hazing law could be expanded under a bill moving through the Legislature.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee unanimously approved a measure Monday that would make people who organize hazing culpable if someone is seriously injured or dies, even if the organizer didn't participate in the event.

It also prohibits hazing of former members of fraternities or other organizations. Current law addresses pledges and active members.

The vote came after the parents of Andrew Coffey made a tearful plea in support of the bill. The Florida State University student died of alcohol poisoning in November 2017 at an off-campus fraternity party. Investigators say the 20-year-old was coerced to drink an entire bottle of bourbon.

The bill provides immunity for the first person who calls 911 to get help for a hazing victim, even if they were participants in the activity.

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