Florida A&M University maintains the school is not responsible for the death of Robert Champion last November. Champion was a drum major in the university's famous marching band.
It has been reported, Robert Champion, 26 was against the hazing ritual
deeply embedded in the band's culture. According to Wills, a friend
to Champion also a defendant in the case, going through with the hazing
ritual was the only way to earn respect from the other band members.
In this ritual called "Do the bus" the drum major boards a bus filled with fellow band members and receives a beating of not just fists and kicks, but by percussion mallets. These series of blows, put Champion's body into shock with the deep tissue bleeding that ensued.
In recent reports, the school wants a judge to throw out the case filed
by Champions family. The university stated "Under these circumstances,
Florida's taxpayers should not be held financially liable to Mr. Champion's
estate for the ultimate result of his own imprudent, avoidable and tragic
decision and death".
Champions parents say the university is partly to blame because it has failed to stop a culture of hazing within the Marching 100 band.
FAMU lawyers argue that due to Champion willingly participating in the
hazing, the law prohibits his family from winning the case. An attorney
hired by the university stating in the filing "No public university
or college has a legal duty to protect an adult student from the result
of their own decision to participate in a dangerous activity while off-campus
and after retiring from university-sponsored events"
Many universities have students sign an Anti-Hazing pledge before they begin classes. It's reported Robert Champion himself signed the pledge just months before his death.