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Pleasant Hill Proclaims Anti Hazing Awareness Month

Aug 29, 2016 01:29PM ● By Alison Clary

On August 1, the Pleasant Hill City Council proclaimed September as Anti-Hazing Awareness Month. Mayor Sue Noack read and signed the proclamation, and people came wearing red in memory of Matt Carrington, who was tragically killed in a hazing incident in Chico in 2005.


Debbie Smith, MM, Matt’s mother, is the CEO of the AHA! Movement (Anti Hazing Awareness), and recently announced that she was the 2016 recipient of the Hank Nuwer Anti-Hazing Hero Award. is a national organization that arms people with education and resources to prevent hazing through initiatives such as National Hazing Prevention Week, the Novak Institute for Hazing Prevention, and education courses that teach people how to change the culture of organizations that unwittingly enable hazing rituals to occur.


Smith was instrumental in getting a California law passed by former State Senator Tom Torlakson to amend the California Education Code and California Penal Code to allow prosecution of non-students on felony charges for hazing rituals. The bill was signed into law in 2006 by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and called Matt’s Law.


The goal of the AHA! Movement is to prevent humiliating and potentially lethal acts related to hazing practices from occurring. Through education outreach programs and presentations, this organization increases awareness of this insidious but pervasive issue in social clubs, especially throughout the high school and college years.


The AHA! Movement is proud to announce that Paul Zingg, just retired as president of California State University, Chico, has joined the AHA! Board. Debbie says Zingg has supported her from day one when Matt was killed, and he has championed their efforts with kindness, generosity, humbleness, and wisdom.


For more information on Matt Carrington’s story, go to To make a donation to the AHA! Movement, go to For more information on, go to [email protected].