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Robert Champion's parents talk about Marching 100 | News

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Robert Champion's parents talk about Marching 100

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- For thousands of Florida A&M University fans, it's music to their ears: the school's famed Marching 100 was back on the field Sunday.

The band was silenced after the November 2011 hazing death of drum major Robert Champion.

COMPLETE COVERAGE | Marching 100 hazing

Just hours after the band played for the first time in 21 months, Champion's parents sat down exclusively with 11Alive.

"It's too soon," Pam Champion said. "The case is not 'I don't want the band to perform.' What I want is that every student is safe."

Pam Champion worries that some of the students who played Sunday may have also been in the band when her son was hazed to death. She believes not enough time has passed to ensure they've all graduated.

"You don't really know," Pam Champion said. "So the thing is, that danger still exists."

Since Champion's death, the school says it has taken a number of steps to change the band's so-called hazing culture. It hired a new band director and created a brand new position -- a person dedicated to anti-hazing efforts.

FAMU also rolled out a new website where students can report hazing.

But Pam Champion believes the efforts need some time to work. With the world famous Marching 100 being a major draw for the school, she thinks the decision to bring the band back is fueled by money.

"Finance has been put in front of the safety of the students. I do believe that," she said. "If we've put things into place, then we need to make sure that what we've put into place works. We don't know that. So you have to ask yourself, what's the rush?"


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