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Thursday
Dec012011

Band Death: Four Students Dismissed After Alleged Hazing

On the day Robert Champion died, he texted his parents a photograph of himself with a young boy from a children's marching band. (Champion Family Photo)(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) -- Florida A&M University has dismissed four students for their role in the alleged hazing death of FAMU drum major Robert Champion, according to a memo obtained by ABC News. And now a second hazing victim has come forward, telling WFTV she was rushed to the emergency room 11 days before Champion's death.

Champion, a 26-year-old member of Florida A&M's "Marching 100" band, collapsed and died on a bus parked outside an Orlando, Fla., hotel after a football game Nov. 19. The school has fired the band director and suspended all performance and engagements of any bands and ensembles, including the "Marching 100." Champion's family plans to sue the school and possibly the school's recently fired band director Julian White.

In a memo sent Tuesday to the Florida A&M board of trustees, university President James Ammons reported "four students have been dismissed from the university in connection with the Robert Champion incident. Further, 30 students were dismissed from the band prior to the Florida Classic."

The students were not identified.

A second alleged hazing victim, freshman Bria Hunter, told police high-ranking band members began initiating her and several others in September. In November, she woke up and found her leg was numb, she told WFTV.

"I was just scared because, like, that never happened before," Hunter said, adding she was beaten at least three times over the course of the semester.

Tallahassee police are still investigating.

When asked why she participated in the hazing, she told WFTV, "So we can be accepted. If you don't do anything, then it's like, you're lame."

In Ammons' Tuesday memo he reiterated the university's "zero tolerance" anti-hazing policy and mentioned the task force formed last week to evaluate the university's "current anti-hazing regulation, procedures, practices and enforcement mechanisms."

"It needs to stop," Champion's mother Pam told reporters Sunday. "No one wants to hear your son collapsed and died. We want to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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