Danny's Law Aims To protect
hazing victims from harm
Hazing at colleges and universities across Missouri continues to have tragic consequences, as evidenced by the October 2021 incident that permanently scarred University of Missouri student Danny Santulli. A contributing factor to the horrific outcome of this incident – and others like it around the country – is that students are sometimes hesitant to call 911 because of fear that their involvement will lead to criminal liability.
In recognition of this reality, Missouri Rep. Travis Smith introduced a bill – HB 240 – in the Missouri Legislature last year designed to incentivize bystanders to intercede when they observe a student in distress. It is analogous to a ‘Good Samaritan’\law and mirrors a Florida law that was approved unanimously and has received broad public approval and praise. In return for prompt, decisive action in obtaining help for hazing victims, the individual seeking help is given immunity from criminal prosecution for the events creating a risk of harm. HB 240 only protects the whistle blower from criminal liability; actions that endanger physical or mental health are still subject to criminal liability and civil liability is unaffected by thisproposal.
Consequently, the Santulli family is honored that HB 240 is being referred to as “Danny’s Law.” The Santulli family aslo supports this legislation and recorded a video that the Mizzou Greek Alliance shared with Missouri legislators during the 2023 legislative session. Click below to watch the video.
The Mizzou Greek Alliance strongly supports this proposed state legislation and will be helping with outreach efforts during the 2024 legislative session to encourage legislators to pass this into law. We want to hold students accountable for their actions and do what we can to prevent other tragedies from happening to other students. Passage of Danny’s Law is a big step in the right direction and has the full support of most fraternities at Mizzou.
The proposed language for Danny’s Law can be found here: