Parents of hazing victim react to FAMU reinstating Marching 100
DECATUR, GA (CBS46) -
Florida A&M's interim president announced on Thursday the school was lifting the Marching 100's suspension.
The school suspended the marching band after the hazing death of their drum major, Robert Champion, in 2011.
Campion's parents, who live in DeKalb County, spoke out about the decision.
"Just dropping of your head and shaking your head, but I wasn't surprised," said Robert Champion's mother, Pam Champion.
She said the decision shows the school is doing what it has done for years.
"They took the steps of putting the band anyway for the dollar," said Pam Champion.
When the announcement was made at the school students in the crowd cheered. The interim president said a new band director and new anti-hazing policies are in place to protect students.
"I just encourage the students who are currently here to not participate in those sort of activities, not to dwell in the past or make it seem as if those sorts of behaviors were acceptable," said anti-hazing assistant Bryan Smith.
Robert Champion's parents said they are not convinced the culture of hazing within the Marching 100 has changed.
"The University had the chance to step up and do the right thing and to keep the band off the field and make sure the band is safe to put back on the field," said Robert Champion's father, Robert Champion Sr.
The new band director said he will put the band back on the field when he determines they're ready, and that could be this season's first football game.
Robert Champion's parents started the organization the Robert D. Champion Drum Major Foundation for Change to stop hazing in all groups.
Twelve former band members are charged with manslaughter in his death.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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