Grand jury: Penn State showed ‘shocking apathy’ to drinking

FILE – In this May 5, 2017, file photo, Centre County, Pa., District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller, left, announces findings an investigation into the death of Penn State University fraternity pledge Tim Piazza, seen in photo at right, as his parents, Jim and Evelyn Piazza, second and third from left, stand nearby during a news conference in Bellefonte, Pa. Parks is scheduled to release grand jury recommendations Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, on the fraternity culture at Penn State. (Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times via AP, File)

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) – A grand jury’s report in the wake of a pledge’s drinking death says that Penn State officials displayed “a shocking apathy” to dangers from excessive drinking and that its inaction allowed criminal acts to occur.

The report released Friday by a district attorney in Pennsylvania recommends a series of changes that the school should undertake in the wake of the death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza in February.

A Penn State spokesman did not have an immediate comment. The school permanently banned Beta Theta Pi in March, saying its investigation found a persistent pattern of excessive and forced drinking, hazing and drug use and sales.

The report calls on state lawmakers to pass stronger laws to deter hazing and underage drinking. It also calls on Penn State to regulate drinking itself, rather than hold a fraternity council responsible.

Piazza’s death occurred two days after he suffered a series of falls and consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol during a pledge bid night.

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