Sunday, May 27, 2018
Education

FAMU abruptly cancels plans to name new band director

TALLAHASSEE — Florida A&M University abruptly canceled plans to name a new Marching 100 band director Tuesday morning, leaving an auditorium full of curious students, faculty and media wondering why the school couldn't agree on a contract with the remaining finalist.

"Somehow they did not meet the negotiation process and they will not be able to name a candidate," university spokeswoman Sharon Saunders said.

The announcement is certain to draw nationwide scrutiny as the Marching 100 attempts to rebuild after the 2011 hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. The group is on suspension but could return as early as fall.

The university has refused to say which of four finalists was offered the job, though Saunders said the person is in Tallahassee meeting with school officials to seal the deal.

Saunders said she didn't know what specifically hampered negotiations other than it had to do with concerns about the role of the director in light of recent efforts to reorganize the band.

The school is hiring additional staff to create more oversight. Also, the position of band director has been separated from the position of music department chair.

FAMU said Monday the news conference would be Tuesday morning. Band members were buzzing about who got the job.

Many hoped Shelby Chipman, the associate director of bands who had been groomed to assume the top position, would be selected. Others suggested North Carolina Central University band director Jorim Reid, a former Marching 100 drum major, was offered the job.

Dontay Douglas, a senior from Miami who was band president in the 2009 and 2010 marching seasons, said he has nothing against Reid but feels Chipman is the most qualified. "He's studied under legends in the world of music in this nation," Douglas said.

Former state Sen. Al Lawson, a longtime FAMU supporter, said overlooking Chipman would mean Interim President Larry Robinson and other university leaders caved to outside pressure.

Chipman's resume is full of accolades, Lawson said, and he should not be penalized for being on the Marching 100 staff at the time of Champion's death.

"You should not let the politics of the band situation prevent a person of his caliber from getting the job," Lawson said.

Comments
Sparks fly among Hillsborough School Board members as private messages are leaked

Sparks fly among Hillsborough School Board members as private messages are leaked

TAMPA — Somebody got into Hillsborough County School Board member Melissa Snively’s Facebook account, copied her messages and gave them to a newspaper publisher who is a friend of her rivals on the board.The posts discussed politics and power struggl...
Published: 05/25/18
Eckerd College student who fell before graduation has died

Eckerd College student who fell before graduation has died

ST. PETERSBURG — An Eckerd College student who was critically injured last weekend during an accidental fall on campus shortly before she was to graduate died today, the school announced.Rebecca Ryan "Becca" Lavin-Burgher would have graduated with a ...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18
A school resource officer allegedly told a gay student she would go to hell. Now he’s going away.

A school resource officer allegedly told a gay student she would go to hell. Now he’s going away.

The stares and whispers started on the first day of school more than two years ago, when Liv Funk and Hailey Smith silently declared their relationship in the halls of North Bend High School by holding hands.They knew coming out would be hard in the ...
Published: 05/24/18
What is a college’s responsibility to parents when a student is suicidal?

What is a college’s responsibility to parents when a student is suicidal?

CLINTON, N.Y. — In the days after her son Graham hanged himself in his dormitory room at Hamilton College, Gina Burton went about settling his affairs in a blur of efficiency, her grief tinged with a nagging sense that something did not add up.She fi...
Published: 05/24/18
Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

TAMPA — Teachers in Hillsborough County came closer on Wednesday to reaching an agreement with the school district that would give them most, but not all of the pay they expected this past year.The deal, if it happens, will end a year-long conflict t...
Published: 05/23/18
Ridgewood High faithful recall ‘Pride of Pasco’ as school forges a new path

Ridgewood High faithful recall ‘Pride of Pasco’ as school forges a new path

NEW PORT RICHEY — The line snaked through the hallways and into the cafeteria, as the Ridgewood High faithful waited for their chance to secure a piece of the school’s 40-year history.They came by the hundreds — current and former students, staff and...
Published: 05/23/18
Words of wisdom from Class of 2018 on how school shootings have transformed them

Words of wisdom from Class of 2018 on how school shootings have transformed them

TAMPA — The pain of the Parkland shootings Feb. 14 was fresh on the minds of Hillsborough County’s graduating seniors when about 300 of them received an assignment. Write a 250-word essay on how decades of school shootings have touched y...
Published: 05/23/18
Company in charge of Hillsborough substitute teachers weighs in on problem cases

Company in charge of Hillsborough substitute teachers weighs in on problem cases

TAMPA — The company hired by the Hillsborough County School District to fill more than 170,000 substitute teaching shifts every year is defending its record, saying it works to get to the bottom of allegations against employees, treat them fairly and...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/25/18
Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

WEEKI WACHEE — A 16-year-old was arrested Tuesday on allegations that she created a fake social media post threatening to shoot students at Weeki Wachee High School, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said the 16-year-old told...
Published: 05/22/18
Hillsborough school district, teachers move closer to pay deal

Hillsborough school district, teachers move closer to pay deal

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District and its teachers’ union moved closer to resolving their salary dispute during Monday’s negotiating session — but stopped short of reaching an agreement.The teachers, who have spent this school year work...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18