FAMU Moves to Settle With Family of Robert Champion
The Florida A&M University Board of Trustees voted today to enter mediation with the family of Robert Champion, the Marching 100 drum major killed in a hazing ritual last November. The Champion family has filed a lawsuit against the university claiming that it condoned a culture of hazing within the band, and had information just days before the death of their son that hazing had become a dangerous problem. From the Associated Press:
FAMU trustees said after the meeting that the decision to pursue mediation should not be seen as an admission that the university did something wrong. Solomon Badger, chairman of the FAMU board, called it the “first step” in any litigation.
Charles Langston, a FAMU trustee, said that no financial amounts were discussed during the closed-door session. He said the board just spent time going over its options and that part of the goal of mediation was “fact finding” where everyone could put their “cards on the table.”
The Champion family says that it intends to pursue a trial, in spite of the court-mandated attempt at mediation.