Alleged hazing victim eyes legal action

Dec. 14, 2011 at 1:18 PM
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ATLANTA, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- An Atlanta attorney says Bria Hunter, an alleged victim of hazing by the Florida A&M University marching band, is planning to sue the university.

Attorney B.J. Bernstein accused the university of ignoring a problem they've allegedly known about for more than a decade, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday.

"This open secret at FAMU once and for all must end," Bernstein said Tuesday at a news conference.

While some former FAMU band members acknowledge some forms of initiation at the school, the newspaper said few would speak openly about anything related to hazing.

Three male members of the marching band were charged Monday with hazing for allegedly beating Hunter on her thighs so forcefully that it broke her femur.

Hunter said she plans to leave the school and will relinquish the $85,000 scholarship she won as a member of the band, the newspaper said.

The famed marching band has been under scrutiny since the death last month of Robert Champion, possibly after a hazing incident. Band Director Julian White was suspended and the board of trustees voted last week to reprimand the university president.

Hunter said she was punished for lying about missing a meeting of the Red Dawg Order, a fraternal organization for students from Atlanta who play in marching bands at historically black colleges and universities. The group was started in the 1990s on the FAMU campus, the newspaper said.

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