FAMU President Suspends Marching Band Until 2013
Florida A&M University’s band will not be allowed to march until sometime next year. The school’s president, James Ammons, announced Monday (May 14) that the marching band will be suspended until 2013. The announcement comes in lieu of news that 13 FAMU band members will face third-degree felony charges, for their participation in the hazing death of Robert Champion, last year. “I think there is a period we should take that these measures are in place and we have addressed all the institutional issues,” Ammons told school board trustees. While it was revealed that those accused in Champion’s death did not belong to the school’s Marching 100 at the time of his passing, the revelation did not stop Ammons from trying to fire band director, Julian White. Not surprisingly, White ended up retiring, last week, but the band will not be allowed to return until a replacement director has been agreed upon.
Champion’s death came after he was tortured during a band trip. He sustained injuries to his chest, shoulders, arms and back. His death, blew the lid off dangerous hazing rituals, and has shone a negative light on the school’s otherwise positive reputation. Since his death, his family has started a non-profit organization, the Robert D. Champion Drum Major for Change Foundation, and plans to sue the school.
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