Bill making hazing a felony wins approval from Senate panel

Bill making hazing a felony wins approval from Senate panel
Maxwell Gruver (Source: Family)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A bill aimed at cracking down on hazing in Louisiana is one step closer to becoming law, as a Senate panel gave the bill its approval Tuesday.

It is called the Max Gruver Act, named in honor of the LSU student who died last fall while rushing one of the fraternities.

Gruver's parents testified in a Senate committee, asking lawmakers to move the bill along.

It would make hazing a felony.

In cases where hazing results in death or serious bodily injury, those who did the hazing could face up to five years behind bars and a fine of up to $10,000. The current penalties are 30 days in jail and a $100 fine.

Gruver, as you likely remember, died during an alleged alcohol-fueled hazing ritual while rushing the Phi Delta Theta chapter at LSU.

"We'll forever miss our son, Max," said Stephen Gruver, the teen's father. "He was an amazing kid, he had an infectious laugh, and brought a lot of joy into this world. And, there's a lot of joy missing in this world with him departing."

The bill also creates penalties for organizations that knew about hazing but did nothing to stop it.

The bill has been moving quickly at the Louisiana State Capitol, breezing through a House committee and the full House.

The Senate panel gave its approval without objection. The bill next heads to the full Senate.

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