Ohio State Band Leader Fired Over ‘Sexualized’ Culture

University officials claim that OSU’s Marching Band culture is inconsistent with Title IX requirements.

COLUMBUS – Ohio State University (OSU) officials have fired marching band director Jon Waters, claiming that he failed to deal with a “sexualized” culture surrounding the band.

The announcement comes two months after school officials investigated hazing of rookies and band traditions like the “Midnight Ramp,” where band members march into Ohio Stadium wearing their underwear,  Newser.com reports.

Additionally, campus administrators claim Waters mishandled a sexual harassment complaint and failed to undergo training on federal sexual-discrimination rules.

In a statement, university officials said “the Marching Band culture and practices revealed conduct by members of the band and staff that is inconsistent with the University’s values and Title IX requirements.”

Additionally, the university plans to name an interim band director and develop additional training to create a “proper culture and nurturing environment.”

Some analysts say the university had to fire Waters or potentially face lawsuits and federal sanctions, Cleveland.com reports.

The firing comes as a surprise for Waters, who began leading the 225-member band two years ago. An attorney for the former band leader said that school officials told Waters two weeks ago that he could keep his job if he adopted a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment, Newser.com reports

Waters plans to fight the decision and clear his name, fox8.com reports.

See the full statement from OSU President Michael Drake.


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