NH Frat Brands Pledges With Bayonet

Police try to be 'fair' on executors of long-held tradition

By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User

Posted Apr 23, 2009 11:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two men face misdemeanor hazing charges for branding fraternity pledges at a New Hampshire college with a World War II bayonet, the Concord Monitor reports. Authorities began investigating the hazing after four students sought burn treatment at New England College's infirmary. Six of the seven pledges involved had 7-inch burn marks across their chests, and one had burns on his buttocks.

"We're trying to be fundamentally fair" in the charges, said the Henniker, NH, police chief, who is expecting one more suspect to turn himself in. "This tradition goes back at least a couple of decades."

Students head to class at New England College in Henniker, N.H., where several fraternity brothers were involved in branding pledges with a bayonet.
Students head to class at New England College in Henniker, N.H., where several fraternity brothers were involved in branding pledges with a bayonet.   (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)
British soldiers had bayonet practice in 1940. Looks like WWII gear is having its resurgence.
British soldiers had bayonet practice in 1940. Looks like WWII gear is having its resurgence.   (Getty Images)
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There were three people primarily involved in the branding. Let's just say they're on the board of officers.
- Tim Russell, police chief
of Henniker, NH

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