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As FAMU Fallout Deepens, Ga. District Halts Band Activity

A Georgia school system has suspended all marching band activities after it launched an investigation spurred by the alleged hazing at Florida A&M University.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Dekalb County School System spokesman said they made the decision after uncovering "documented evidence of inappropriate activity that took place over the summer." The AJC adds:

"He said in an interview that officials started asking questions at Southwest DeKalb High School because of connections to alleged hazing incidents at FAMU. Robert Champion, the FAMU band member who died, and another member, Bria Shante Hunter, who was injured, graduated from Southwest DeKalb. Two of three FAMU band members charged with injuring Hunter also hailed from the high school. The third defendant was a Druid Hills High graduate.

"The school system's investigation unearthed some troubling 'activity' at schools beyond Soutwest DeKalb, Woods said. He was not willing to disclose the nature of the incidents, and said the investigation could take two months.

"Marching band activities countywide, except in special cases such as an upcoming Martin Luther King Day parade performance, will be suspended pending the outcome of the probe."

The alleged hazing incident that injured Hunter happened about three weeks before Champion's death. The beating was so severe, reports Atlanta's 11 Alive, that Hunter's thigh bone was broken and "she had blood clots in her legs."

In its statement the DeKalb County School System said the investigation is "meant to determine the scale and nature of any inappropriate activities."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.