Family of Florida A&M hazing victim sues bus driver

Feb. 13, 2012
Suit alleges that the driver stood by as band members hazed student

From The Orlando Sentinel: A lawsuit contends that the driver of a bus on which Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion was killed stood guard while the student was being hazed by fellow band members. The suit contends that bus driver Wendy Millette saw Champion vomiting in the parking lot of an Orlando hotel, then told him to get back on the bus – that he'd be OK. After he boarded the bus Champion allegedly was subjected to more hazing. Champion's family argues that Millette contributed to the drum major's death by either participating in the hazing or allowing it to happen.

DECEMBER 2011.... From The New York Times: Rebuffing Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Florida A&M University’s board of trustees has decided not to suspend the university’s president in the wake of a hazing death of a member of the school's marching band. The trustees have decided wait until after a criminal investigation to decide whether to suspend the president, James H. Ammons. Authorities are looking into the Nov. 19 death of the band member. Last week, Scott called for Ammons to be suspended pending the investigations. Earlier...from The Miami Herald: Investigators have ruled the death of Florida A&M drum major Robert Champion a homicide. Champion, 26, died from blunt force trauma sustained from hazing. Medical examiners found bruises on his chest, arms, shoulder and back and said he suffered extensive hemorrhaging. NOVEMBER 2011...from The family of a Decatur, Ga., native who died after a college band performance wants to expose and end what they call “a culture of hazing” at his school. Family members plan to file a lawsuit against Florida A&M University and possibly others.

RELATED...from The St. Petersburg Times: Julian White, ousted as director of Florida A&M University's marching band, is asking to be reinstated. He says he has worked to prevent the kind of hazing rituals that investigators believe led to a drum major's death.


From The St. Petersburg Times: The band director at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee has been fired and four students have been suspended after a drum major died in an apparent hazing incident. Robert Champion, a 26-year-old music student from Atlanta, was found unresponsive on a bus after vomiting and complaining he could not breathe. The bus was parked in front of an Orlando hotel after the Marching 100 performed at the annual football game against rival Bethune-Cookman.

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