Parents of BGSU hazing victim speak out for the first time

BGSU held a memorial for Stone Foltz on March 14, one week after he died in an alleged hazing...
BGSU held a memorial for Stone Foltz on March 14, one week after he died in an alleged hazing incident.
Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 9:55 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The parents of a Bowling Green State University student who died after an alleged fraternity hazing incident are speaking out publicly for the first time. Shari and Cory Foltz, the parents of Stone Foltz, appeared on Good Morning America Wednesday - breaking their silence on the tragic passing of their son.

Stone Foltz died Sunday, March 7th, days after an alleged alcohol-related hazing incident at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house. The night of the hazing incident, pledges were allegedly told to drink an entire handle of alcohol before they could leave the frat house.

Friends of Stone found him unresponsive that night and called for help. Stone’s BAC was 0.394, according to the family’s attorney, almost five times the legally intoxicated limit. He believes it may have been higher earlier in the evening. Coma and death from respiratory failure happens around 0.40-.45 BAC, according to Standford University’s Office of Alcohol Policy and Education.

“I can’t describe the pain,” Shari Foltz said. “There’s a piece of my heart that’s gone. I can’t even explain to you.”

In the exclusive interview with ABC’s Good Morning America, Shari Foltz revealed that just weeks before Stone’s death, she was worried about the fraternity. Stone was supposed to make a trip back to his hometown to visit his family one night but told his mother he couldn’t leave until 2 a.m. because the fraternity wouldn’t let him. The night of the tragedy, Stone confided in his mother that he felt forced to drink in a scheduled fraternity ritual.

“I said well that sounds really stupid, why do u have to do it?” Shari said. “He said it’s just part of the ritual, I have to but I don’t want to.”

Shari Foltz recounts that as the last conversation she had with her son.

As authorities continue to investigate, Stone’s parents say they hold the national fraternity accountable and are demanding zero-tolerance for hazing. The BGSU chapter of the fraternity was suspended following the incident.

The national organization released a statement following the death of Stone Foltz that reads in part, “the Fraternity has a zero-tolerance policy toward illegal activity, substance abuse, bullying, and hazing of any kind. Let us reiterate in the strongest terms: We refuse to defend or condone any behavior that creates dangerous environments or situations for our members or the larger campus community at any of our 200+ chapters in the United States and abroad.”

Since his death, state lawmakers have pushed for anti-hazing legislation. It’s a move the Foltz family supports.

“There needs to be harsher punishments. You get a slap on the hand for basically doing these things and killing someone,” said Shari Foltz. “If it’s a felony, don’t you think they’re going to think twice before doing this?”

The attorney for the family, Rex Elliot, is calling for charges to be filed against those involved.

“Justice looks very much to me like the criminal process,” said Elliot.

Stone’s father, Cory Foltz, wants more done to assure no student goes through this kind of hazing in the future.

“Every day that goes by, there’s a chance there could be another Stone Foltz out there,” Cory Foltz said.

When asked about Stone’s legacy, his parents said they’re proud he was an organ donor. Stone’s heart and kidney have already been successfully transplanted to help others and his body tissue has been donated to more than 100 people. The cause and manner of Stone’s death are still under investigation.

You can watch the GMA segment below.

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