Former FAMU band director Julian White has broken his silence.
Days after a letter from Florida A&M University president James Ammons terminating Julian White’s tenure with the university, White has come out and stated that the school knew about the hazing allegations that were happening, but refused to act on these revelations or take them seriously.
Julian White said to reporters: “I explained to them that I have suspended these students from the band and I have some apprehensions. I need your support in handling this hazing. Sometimes I feel as though I’m out there by myself and by that I mean, if I’ve given you the names, do something about it. If you’ve had these names two weeks, do something about it. I wish they had suspended the students from school. If some strong actions had been taken then Robert Champion may well be alive now.”
Robert Champion died on November 19, 2011 as the band was leaving to go back to the university after the Florida Classic. Champion’s death was allegedly due to hazing.
Hazing allegations is nothing new to the FAMU band. In 2001, Marcus Parker suffered severe kidney damage due to being beaten with a paddle. Before the Parker incident, Ivery Luckey reported to have been hit with a paddle multiple times and had to be admitted to the hospital.
As reported by HBCUBuzz earlier and Julian White says himself, there has been a culture of hazing that has gone largely unnoticed by the school’s administration. “It’s a culture,” Julian White said. “Not just a Florida A&M culture, a college phenomenon.”
White insists that he did everything in his power to stop the hazing, and that Champion’s death greatly affected him. White dismissed 26 band members hoping to punish them for hazing related incidents, but received no support from FAMU. White had this to say about Champion:
I asked the medics if they would allow me a few minutes so I could go in and touch Robert and see Robert just as a reminder to me how tragic life can be sometimes and then to express myself in feelings and voice to Robert. Afterward, the most difficult time I had was calling his mother and father and stating to them ‘there has been some difficulty and I regret to inform you that your son has passed away.
As White petitions for his job back, he stated his 5 decade relationship with Florida A&M University led him to act quickly and severely in punishing the hazing culprits but to no avail. ” I feel very comfortable that I did everything I could to eradicate hazing. I coined the phrase ‘zero tolerance for hazing’ in the Florida A&M band.”
Will Julian White get his job back? Does he deserve it back? HBCUBuzz will continue to update you as more information arrives.