FAMU Reaches Settlement over Hazing Death

| September 20, 2015

Florida AM

ORLANDO — Florida A&M University has reached a settlement with the family of Robert Champion, who died after being hazed by fellow band members.

A university spokesman says the $1.1 million settlement of the negligence lawsuit by Robert Champion’s family was reached Friday.

FAMU spokeswoman Lisa Brock says the settlement terms include both monetary and nonmonetary terms.

Champion, of Decatur, Georgia, died after band members pummeled him with fists and mallets aboard a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel in November 2011. The hazing ritual, known as “Crossing Bus C,” was carried out after FAMU band members had performed at an annual football game with a rival.

Champion’s family says the university should have taken stronger measures to crack down on hazing by band members.

The following statement was released by FAMU Board of Trustees Chairman Rufus Montgomery:

“We offer our deepest condolences to the Champion family as this four year case comes to its final resolution. In an effort to inform and educate, Florida A&M University will name the Marching 100 band’s anti-hazing program, the “Robert Champion, Jr. Anti-Hazing Program.” Together, FAMU and the Champion family will work to design a memorial plaque dedicated to the life and cherished memory of Mr. Champion. We believe that further good can be served by the telling of his story and the devastating consequences of hazing. We also believe that our good faith efforts will bring some measure of closure, knowing his life will be remembered on campus in our continued and collective efforts to promote the health, welfare, and safety of students.”

Associated Press

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