Was this firing an over reaction at Florida A&M?

A kid in the band died last week from an alleged hazing incident. Four days later the school fires the long term band director and he’s a tenured professor.

My concern is the police investigation has barely started. Nothing is really known yet. The band director claims he’s put in a lot of anti-hazing rules in the past decade.

Doesn’t this guy deserve some chance to defend himself? At least wait until after the police investigation finishes and the prosecutor looks at it? Isn’t due process the cornerstone of our country’s justice?

I’m thinking the recent Penn State mess may have made Florida A&M overreact.

I have no problem with firing this guy after a proper investigation is done and they determine how wide spread the hazing is. Heck, this could have been two or three stupid idiots in the band acting alone. Nothing is even known yet.

What makes this story weird is that he tried measures to stop the hazing, and his superiors ignored him. Now they want to blame him for doing nothing about the hazing.

If I’m reading the article right, that is.

He might be the fall guy for the rest of the administration turning their heads, but FAMU has a long sordid history of hazing with that band. This isn’t the third time this sort of thing has happened. I thought it was simply a matter of time before heads started rolling anyway. Great band, amazing to watch them perform. But I don’t think all that student-perpetrated hazing is really necessary to get such outstanding performances from the band members. I’m not convinced it’s an overreaction. It could just be “it’s about damned time somebody put a stop to this crap.” There’s no good reason for these kids to torture each other for the sake of camaraderie.

FAMU administration in Tallahassee is basically a joke. I’m actually somewhat surprised they didn’t accidentally fire the director of the janitorial staff.

Considering that the medical examiner’s report hasn’t even been issued yet, and first responders indicated that there were no signs of foul play, hell yes it’s an overreaction.

On the other hand, White has been under the microscope for tolerating hazing activities before, so Dogzilla’s theory is quite plausible.

New information is starting o come out.

It sure sounds like this guy was trying hard to stop the hazing. That other article in the OP said there were 350 band members. That’s a lot of 18 to 25 year olds to try and watch. Stuffs going to happen and its good to know the band director was punishing people that he caught hazing.

Hazing seems to be everywhere in college life. Fraternities, Sororities practically any organized activity has some initiation.


correction - 420 members in that band. That’s a huge marching band. The logistics of travel and monitoring these young adults must be really tough.

They are in college and over 18. They are adults. Some are over 21 and can legally drink.

The only way I could ever see hazing help is if it encourages people to leave who can’t take it. But you can’t do that in a marching band–having people leave royally messes everything up, and negates a ton of practice, either by requiring the formation to be changed, or by leaving big gaping holes.

I don’t see why you would feel camaraderie with someone who treated you like crap for a year. I’d be surprised that student-led hazing didn’t result in revolts.

Hazing doesn’t make sense to me in the context of Greek organizations either. Why would I want to pay ridiculous amounts of money so my bought “friends” can treat me like crap? How does this create brotherhood/sisterhood?

If I wanted to spend a year being abused, I’d move back home with my parents.

Hazing is no longer universal in Greek society, fortunately (though obviously there’s still plenty of it).

Dogzilla, I had the same reaction to sororities when I was a freshman in college. When the “sisters” of one sorority came to the dorm and made the “pledges” go to breakfast in their bathrobes, I knew I had made the correct decision by not getting involved. I’d be telling a “sister” to go straight to hell. Paying someone to make a fool of me? I don’ think so.

Back to the OP - sounds like either the administration is looking for a scapegoat, or that the band director has pissed someone off…

A lot of the stuff I had to do when I was a sorority pledge would now be considered hazing, but I had a hell of a lot of fun. It was a blast. I agree that it’s too hard to draw the line, and some people just don’t know when to quit, so there absolutely should be a zero-tolerance policy. That was then; this is now.

It does sound as if the band director was doing his best and got no support from the administration, which is now scapegoating him, as SnakesCatLady says.