FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) — A bill that would classify hazing as a felony in Kentucky has passed another hurdle to becoming law.
Lofton’s Law was brought before the Senate Judiciary on Thursday morning by Sen. Robby Mills (R-Henderson). He was joined by Lofton Hazelwood’s parents, whom the bill is named after. Hazelwood was a freshman at the University of Kentucky who died from alcohol toxicity at a fraternity house in 2021.
“We believe that intentional, wanton, and reckless participation in the act of hazing needs to be stopped in Kentucky, and the only way for organizations and people who operate these organizations to understand the severity of hazing is to attach a crime to this behavior in Kentucky,” Mills stated following the introduction of the bill in October 2022.
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After a vote, Lofton’s Law passed the committee with one no vote by Sen. Schickel (R), who, according to FOX 56 Political Reporter Bode Brooks, believed this is something already covered by the wanton endangerment statute.
With the passing of Lofton’s Law, acts that will be considered hazing include:
- Causing, coercing, or forcing a minor or student to violate federal or state law
- Consume any food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, drug, tobacco product, or other controlled substance
- Endure physical brutality
- Other activities that endanger the individual’s physical and mental health
The bill will now be pushed to the Kentucky Senate and then to the Kentucky House, where it would need to pass both before Gov. Beshear can sign it into law.