Funeral Services Scheduled For FAMU Drum Major, Parents Sue School

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The parents of Robert Champion, the Florida  A&M University drum major who died Nov. 19 after a band performance will bury their son this week as they also announce their plan to sue the university over his death.

According to the AJC, two days before the funeral of Robert Champion Jr., his mother, father and younger sister, flanked by their attorney, said the “foolishness” of hazing was the cause of their son’s death and they want the school as well as all others involved to be held accountable.

Attorney Christopher Chestnut said the Champions wants to end the “culture of hazing” that cost Robert his life.

Even though the family has announced intentions to file a lawsuit against the university in Champion’s death, no monetary figure has been discussed.

At a news conference on Monday Pam Champion, Robert’s mother, said, “Hazing needs to stop. We need to put it out there and let people know.”  Mrs. Champion said her son was supposed to come home for Thanksgiving and watch the parade. Instead, she is burying him.

Champion’s funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday at Beulah Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur. A viewing will be held from noon until 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Willie A.  Watkins Special  Events Center, 5843 Redan Road, Lithonia, with a wake running from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

More on the report here

In the meantime a hazing expert says this incident should be treated like similar incidents involving fraternities.

And finally, long time Florida A and M University band director Dr. Julian White was fired as the fallout from Robert Champion’s suspected hazing death. Florida’s governor said state investigators would join the probe and the college announced an independent review led by a former state attorney general. White who graduated from the school with a music education degree plans to fight to keep his job. More in this report from the AJC

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