Florida A&M University is the target of a lawsuit filed by the parents of Robert Champion.
He was a drum major in the school's marching band who died after being beaten in a hazing ritual last November.
Rather than fight the suit in court, today FAMU leaders decided to do everything they can to work out a settlement with the Champion family.
Reporter Troy Kinsey tells us could be key to turning the page on a difficult chapter in the school's history.
It was a horrific beating that left a young man dead and a campus in crisis...
Now, nine months after Florida A&M drum major Robert champion collapsed and died after an apparent hazing ritual, university leaders are anxious to put the case behind them.
Today the FAMU board of trustees voted to begin negotiating toward a potential settlement with Champion's family.
They're suing the school, accusing administrators of not doing enough to crack down on hazing.
Larry Robinson/ FAMU Interim President
“My approach is, we'll follow the dictates of the board here, and it's clear to me that they are more than willing to meet and talk with the champion attorneys about the next steps.”
It may be a way to avoid a public trial with the power to further damage FAMU's reputation.
The Champion case has led to revelations of *other* hazing incidents, not to mention a year-long suspension for the famed 'marching 100', and the resignation of campus president James Ammons.
We're approaching trying times in the fall semester.
With classes set to begin at the end of the month, FAMU senior Kam Briel says, like a lot of students, he wants some kind of closure.
“With the situation going on, everybody's stressing. It'll be kind of cool to let bygones be bygones and we all move on and stuff like that.”
The Champion family is suing for damages above and beyond 15-thousand dollars.
Under state law, any award above 300-thousand would have to be approved by lawmakers.
The champions have made it clear... The money isn't nearly as important to them as an admission of negligence by FAMU.
In Tallahassee, I’m Troy Kinsey.
Eleven FAMU band members are being charged with felony hazing in connection with champion's death.
Two others are facing misdemeanor charges.
All thirteen have pled not guilty.
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