'Culture Of Hazing' Fatal For Florida A&M U's Robert Champion, Attorney Says

Ann McClure's picture
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Family members of a Florida A&M University marching band member who died in Orlando following a suspected hazing attack announced a lawsuit against the university during a news conference Monday in Atlanta.

Attorney Christopher Chestnut, who is representing Robert Champion's family, said FAMU is being sued because "all the evidence points to the fact that hazing was a cause in the drum major's death and it happened on FAMU's watch."

"The culture of hazing is don't ask, don't tell," said Chestnut, who was joined by Champion's parents. "The family is saying, please tell."

Chestnut said the pervasive culture of hazing is "being protected at FAMU." FAMU didn't immediately respond to comment. But FAMU president James Ammons spoke publicly shortly after Champion's death, denouncing hazing and announcing a task force to investigate and end hazing. He fired the band's longtime director Julian White several days later.

Read more »