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Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Parents of fraternity pled®!
call for hazing crackdowi
By Lisa Fa1 kenberg
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
DALLAS — The parents of a Southern
Methodist University student hospitalized after
chugging water at a fraternity event said Tuesday
that universities and national organizations should
be held accountable for accidents at fraternity and
Braylon Curry, a 21-year-old finance major,
was released from a Dallas hospital Monday
evening, more than a week after he was hospital
ized after drinking an unknown amount of water at
an off-campus Alpha Phi Alpha
Curry’s parents said they con
sider the incident illegal hazing
and hope it inspires a crackdown.
“I think it’s very easy to take an
event like that and isolate it and
focus on it for a day or two or three
and then it goes away and then it
would be another group of parents
in the 1CU,” said the student's
father. Bishop Curry, a 52-year-old
veterinarian in Maryland. “There
needs to be a change.”
This can't be a void
ora vacuum that out
young people fall
their children’s activities.
Curry’s parents say doctors are expectingi
recovery'. Curry, who was unresponsive hounsi
the water drinking contest and wassti
ical condition two days later, is now
mg and getting his appetite back, his parents11
Chris Gilliam, a spokesman with the Di
Police Department, said an investigation is)
feeding slowly.” A detective interviewed [.f;-
for the first time Tuesday and no charges
been filed, Gilliam said.He said any charges
be limited necessarily to hazing.
Curry’s parents said pledges and some te
ty alumni are responsible for hazing.
Curry's mother, Brenda Qi
said her son was seeking a net*!
of friends he could keep long®
college, but had been skeptic
the pledging process.
‘‘It was about brotherhoodi
he hadn’t seen any sign oftta
the pledging process,” she said
She said the incident promg
her oldest son, 23-year-old Bii
to tell her that he too
pitalized about a year ago i
being beaten up while pledgr
— Bishop Curry
He suggested universities require direct super
vision of fraternity and sorority events or lawmak
ers increase the penalty for hazing from a misde
meanor to a felony.
“This can’t be a void or a vacuum that our
young people fall into,” Bishop Curry said. ‘‘If it’s
highly supervised, that’s the only way that you’re
going to be able to send your sons and daughters
to college and they’ll come back to you whole.”
Jim Caswell, vice president of student affairs at
SMU, said universities try to educate students
about hazing but can only do so much.
“The difficulty that we find, quite honestly ... is
how do you get at underground, secret activities,”
Caswell said. “We will continue to try and work at
that issue but 1 must tell you, that’s a difficult one.”
He suggested parents help by keeping track of
fraternity at Texas A& M-Commerce. The d
brother decided not to pledge, his mother®:
It will take more than two parents'pleas in*
hazing, says Hank Nuwer, a journalism pros
at Franklin College in Indiana and to
University at Indianapolis who has written::
books on hazing.
“It’s a well-meaning gesture,” he saidtai
added, "It’s creating an atmosphere that ml
false hopes for a lot of people and in the etc:.:
it never produces social change.”
Nuwer said parents such as the Curryssta
call for more research on hazing ritualsratheti
tougher laws. He said there has been at lea
hazing death every year since 1970. butte
too little reliable information on hazing met'
and their prevalence on U.S. campuses.
Lawyer: Michael Jackson accuse
never mentioned alleged abus
By Tim Malloy
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LOS ANGELES — An attorney who repre
sented the mother of Michael Jackson’s accuser in
her divorce from the child's father said the family
never indicated to him that Jackson had sexually
abused the boy.
Attorney Michael Manning said Monday he
remembers the mother saying positive things
about Jackson as recently as April or May.
“’He was really good to us’ — that’s what she
said at the time,” Manning said.
Asked if she had said anything else about
Jackson, Manning added, "Nothing bad. ... If it
turned sour, 1 don’t know how.”
The mother filed for divorce in 2001 and has
custody. Manning said she and the alleged victim
rarely mentioned their visits to Jackson’s
Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County.
“They didn’t brag about it,” he said. “They
weren’t star crazy.”
The Associated Press does not identify alleged
victims of sexual abuse. The child’s mother could
not be located for comment Monday.
Stuart Backerman, the entertainer’s
spokesman, declined to comment Monday night.
Santa Barbara County district attorney’s office
and the sheriff’s department declined to comment
Monday on the case. Both have said they will not
comment until charges are filed.
Jackson launched a Web site Mondayd®
to tell his side of the story in the case,assenr:
allegations are “predicated on a big lie."
Jackson put the site together so hecoul*
municate directly with the news media anf
Backerman said. Jackson said in hiss
the site wish Id serve as a source for ' l
munications on my case.”
The site contains links to three earlierslaffi'
Backerman made last week on Jackson ste
The statements were made after authoritiesu®
the singer's Neverland Ranch and beforeidi
the entertainer surrendered on a warrant I
lewd or lascivious acts with a child under R
A public relations executive who i
involved in the Jackson case said the We
allows the entertainer to bypass the news me
deliver his side of the story to the public.
“He’s able to communicate with those)
interested without the message being filteredI)}
media,” said Doug Dowie, senior vice preside:
Jackson was released on $3 million bail:
his surrender Thursday and immediatelytetn
to Las Vegas, where he had been filmingW
Authorities have said they expect to ftefe
charges sometime after Thanksgiving.
On the Net:
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520 HARVEY ROAD 694-4618
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It is I
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■ 'exas AS