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FAMU Band Director Fights For His Job

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – The recently fired director of Florida A&M’s famed “Marching 100″ band says his repeated warnings about the dangers of hazing were largely ignored by university administrators.

Dr. Julian White was let go after authorities investigating the death of drum major Robert Champion said hazing may have been a factor. Champion’s family is from Lithonia in DeKalb County.

White says he suspended 26 band members for hazing two weeks before Champion died on Nov. 19 and reported his actions to the administration. White said Monday he was second-guessed for his actions. That included some parents of suspended band members and even some musicians worried about winning their annual battle of the bands against archrival Bethune-Cookman.

Champion collapsed on a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel a few hours after FAMU lost its annual season finale in football to Bethune-Cookman.

Funeral services for Robert Champion are scheduled for Wednesday at 11 am at Beulah Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur.

A viewing will be held from noon until 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Willie A.  Watkins Special  Events Center, 5843 Redan Road, Lithonia, with a wake running from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

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