Gov. Beshear signs ‘anti-hazing’ bill in memory of UK student into law

A bill drawn up in response to the death of a UK student amid a hazing incident is now law.
Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 3:34 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A bill drawn up in response to the death of a UK student amid a hazing incident is now law.

Lofton’s Law was signed by governor Andy Beshear on Monday. The law makes hazing that leads to death a felony.

The bill is named after 18-year-old Lofton Hazelwood, who died in October 2021.

Lofton Hazelwood died at UK hospital after he was found unresponsive at the Farmhouse fraternity. His cause of death was listed as alcohol toxicity.

Numerous investigations pointed to hazing, including the use of alcohol, at the Farmhouse Fraternity. Lofton’s parents began a campaign that started with a mock law at a school that grew into an actual law that Governor Beshear signed on Monday.

“His future was bright. Tragically his life was cut short because of hazing. Causing his family and friends to experience heartbreak because of his passing,” said Governor Beshear.

Senate Bill 9 will make hazing that leads to death or serious physical injury a felony. Reckless participation in hazing can result in a class A misdemeanor.

“I hope everyone thinks twice before they try to do something like that again. You know it’s supposed to be a brotherhood. There’s nothing about hazing that says brotherhood at all,” said Lofton’s mother, Tracey Hazelwood.

Tracey Hazelwood said work isn’t done with the passage of this law. She says she will continue to talk to high school students about the dangers of hazing.

Governor Beshear also mentioned the scholarship that was named in Hazelwood’s honor which will be open to people from his hometown of Henderson who have an agriculture major to enter a trade school.