Champion family "hurt, disappointed" in FAMU response

10:13 PM, Sep 13, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Champion family responds to FAMU allegations

Robert Champion
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  • ATLANTA -- In a Thursday morning press conference, the family of FAMU drum major Robert Champion says it was the school's responsibility to keep their son safe, and the school failed at that task.

    Florida A&M University filed court papers asking a judge to throw out the Champions' lawsuit against the school, saying Champion was aware of the risks of hazing, but chose to participate anyway. 

    Champion died last November after a hazing incident on a marching band trip to Orlando. His parents say FAMU didn't do enough to stop the culture of hazing that lead to their son's death.

    His mom says FAMU doesn't have the best interest of the students in mind.  His dad added, the school let Robert, the family and the entire student body down.  

    The university says Champion should have refused to participate in hazing events.

    Champion's mother says her son never worried whether he was accepted.

    RELATED | Defendant: FAMU drum major Robert Champion wanted to be hazed

    The university calls Champion's death avoidable because he made the decision to participate in hazing.

    Tuesday, the Champion family's attorney, Chris Chestnut, told 11Alive's Blayne Alexander that the response from FAMU emphasized what the family has been saying all along -- that the school has a history of blaming students for hazing and not taking responsibility for stopping it.

    Chestnut says the motion "has no merit," but will cause a delay in their case going to court. He also pointed out that the university has never won a hazing trial.

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