LUBBOCK, Texas — It has been two years since a Texas mother, Debbie Debrick, testified at a state hearing in March 2019 regarding an anti-hazing bill. Senate Bill 38 passed in June of 2019, but now she is trying to get the bill passed at the federal level with the END ALL Hazing Act.
Debbie’s son, Dalton, died in August of 2014 after his mother said he was made to drink at a fraternity party. The eighteen-year-old had just pledged to Alpha Sigma Phi. His body was found in a home near campus, and his alcohol level was three times the legal limit. Dalton hadn’t attended his first classes as a college freshman.
“We’ve learned we’ve got to get together to make the change and channel that anger that way,” Debbbie said.
Debbie said 2020 was the first in 60 years there had not been a hazing-related death reported in the U.S. The trend was broken, however, in 2021. Stone Foltz, a student at Bowling Green State University, and Adam Oakes, a student at Virginia Commonwealth University, died within weeks of each other in March. In both cases, investigators are looking into allegations of hazing.
“When this came up, it was really painful for all of us,” Debbie said. “A piercing in the heart. We know what the parent’s going through and we know which steps they’re fixing to go through for this.”
Senate Bill 38 defines hazing and requires universities in Texas be transparent about hazing incidents on campus.
“All the other states haven’t had either a death or they don’t have a parent that’s working to change those laws and we don’t want to wait until there is a death, or a parent that has to step up and do this for us to change a law in every state,” Debbie said.
The END ALL Hazing Act was first introduced in 2019 and is very similar to the Texas bill. She said the coronavirus pandemic halted their efforts but has since been reintroduced.
“It’s a bipartisan bill, by the way,” Debbie said. “We have a lot of support on it.”
Other social organizations have also supported the bill. Dalton’s best friend, Nick Menchaca, said his fraternity, Sigma Chi, also supports the act.
“We need the financial support and the support in numbers to pass this. We don’t want it to die out and so the more people that know is the better,” Menchaca said.
The bill is something Debbie believes should be a no-brainer.
“Who would not want to pass a bill to save kids and to save lives?” Debbie questioned.
To support their effort or to learn more, visit the Anti-Hazing Coalition website under the tab ‘Legislation.’