The Associated Press reported that the parents of Robert Champion, the Florida A&M band member who died after being hazed on the band bus, have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the owner and driver of the charter bus on which the ritual took place. The lawsuit details two types of hazing that led to Champion’s death.
First, pledgees of a band clique known as “Bus C” run from the front to the back of the bus while other band members slap, kick and hit them, the lawsuit said. A pledgee who falls can be stomped and dragged to the front of the bus to run again.
In another ritual known as “the hot seat,” a pillow case is placed over the pledgee’s nose and mouth while the pledgee is forced to answer questions. If a pledgee gets the right answer, the pillow case is removed briefly. A pledgee with a wrong answer is given another question without a chance to take a breath, the lawsuit said.
On November 19, Champion collapsed on a bus outside an Orlando hotel after a football game. He suffered from blunt trauma blows and died from shock caused by severe bleeding, authorities said. His death has set off a series of criminal and administrative inquiries, the suspension of the school’s longtime director of bands; Julian White, as well as plenty of continuous discourse between Florida’s, Governor Rick Scott, and the University’s board of trustees.