Julian White, FAMU band director resigns

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - When FAMU percussionist Caleb Jackson had his first appearance on felony hazing charges, he told the judge he could make bail because he had a job.

What Jackson and two others charged in the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion did not have was a class schedule. The three were not enrolled in classes, which is a violation of University policy.

To be issued a uniform, students have to bring a copy of their class schedule to the FAMU Department of Music. The problem is that no one in the registrar's office or the dean's office bothered to check to see if the student was actually enrolled.

Band Director Julian White retired Thursday.  He says it was not his job to check beyond the class schedule. A 1998 memo specifies it is the duty of the dean to check enrollment status.

In a letter to University Trustees, FAMU President James Ammons says 51 band members and one cheerleader who made the fatal trip to Orlando were not enrolled in school during the fall. All received per diem from the University to make the trip.

Gretl Plessinger with the Department of Law Enforcement says those payments are now part of the investigation. "We are looking into per diems claimed by individuals as part of the band trips."

A decision on whether the band comes back in the fall is expected soon.

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