The mother of a Florida A&M University drum major, who reportedly died following a hazing episode, pleaded with students to end the culture, according to the Associated Press.
Pam Champion held a news conference on Monday to comment on the untimely death of her son, Robert, who had earned a coveted spot on the famed Marching 100 band of FAMU. He died on Nov. 19 after the school’s football team lost an away game to Bethune-Cookman University.
“It needs to stop. The whole purpose is to put this out there and let people know there has to be a change,” she said, according to the AP. She described her son as loving music since the age of 6 and said he’d been involved in marching bands since middle school. The family described him as “Mr. Band.”
Details of exactly what happened the night of his death are still emerging. But authorities have said that hazing played a role in Champion’s death, according to the AP. The university and police are investigating the incident. The family has filed a lawsuit.
Additionally, Julian White, the longtime band director, has been fired, and the band has been sidelined. White has threatened to sue over his firing, saying that he had suspended band members for hazing-related incidents in the past.
Hazing has long been a scourge at colleges and universities around the nation. We hope this case at least begins to help eradicate the problem. There is no honor in engaging in covert activities that could result in death.
Read more at News One.