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The parents of former Florida A&M drum major Robert Champion are livid about the response that the university made to the lawsuit that was filed after his death. Champion was killed during a hazing ritual that took place during a school bus trip to Orlando, and the school says that it is not responsible for what happened to him.
Champion’s parents feel that the university is not willing to hold itself accountable for the rampant culture of hazing on the campus, which some believe ends up pressuring students to engage in rituals that can lead to serious injury, or even death.
Champion’s parents, Pam and Robert, held a press conference in Atlanta, during which they expressed their extreme disappointment in the school’s behavior. The school has asked the judge to throw the case out of court, for they argue that they were not to blame for what happened.
Christ Chestnut, the attorney representing the Champion family, says that student safety is the primary issue in the case. There are grave concerns that hazing culture is so deeply embedded in the culture of many campuses that it’s going to be difficult to eliminate. Several students were arrested after Champion’s death and face time in prison if convicted. There are also allegations that the university had been consistently warned about the hazing problem in the past, but chose to ignore the evidence.