Robert Champion Sr. and Pam Champion say they are extremely hurt by the school's response. The Champions say they entrusted the school to protect and take care of their son.
"The school let us down. They let my son down, let my family down. Now they're letting the school down," said Champion's father, Robert, during a news conference on Thursday.
The Champions say FAMU wrote 30 pages of what they call denial that hazing is a major problem in the famed band. The school went on to blame Robert Champion Jr. for his own death.
"It was very disappointing. But you know, I was hurt to get a paper that says on it that, well, he's responsible for his own death," said Champion's mother, Pam. "As a mother, I have to wonder what kind of people are we entrusting our students to."
It was FAMU's first official response to Robert Champion's death in November of 2011. Lawyers for FAMU say he consented to the hazing ritual, where he was beaten by fellow band members, and is therefore responsible for his own death. Twelve former band members have pleaded not guilty to felony hazing charges.
"We can continue to blame individual students for every year for the 50 years of hazing that's been going on at FAMU," said the Champion's attorney, Christopher Chestnut. "At some point, perhaps we look at the institution and say how do we adjust the culture to influence students so they don't feel like this is a choice they have to make?"
The Champions say their advice to the university as they look for a new president is to own up to the problem, and then be willing to make the tough decisions to clean house. They also pointed to a hazing allegation last week involving the dance team as an indication that the practice is still a problem.
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