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Posted: January 18, 2012

DeKalb bands marching again

By Veronica Waters

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DeKalb County high school marching bands are back in business. WSB's Jon Lewis reports a suspension on band activities has been lifted.

The ban was put in place following the death of Robert Champion, a graduate of Southwest DeKalb High School. Several of his alleged hazers at Florida A&M University, as well as a FAMU band mate who suffered a broken leg in a hazing incident, went to high schools in DeKalb County.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson says an investigation of the county's marching bands found isolated incidents of intimidation.

She says there have been meetings with school principals and band directors to make sure everyone is aware of their responsibilities and expected accountability.

“We know that band is a very positive experience for our students,” said Atkinson. “We fully expect for it to continue to be that.”

District spokesman Walter Woods says the probe continues, and is centered on whether adults were involved in the intimidation of students. Neither Woods nor Atkinson revealed what band bullying or intimidation led to the initial ban.

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