THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY (Chelsea Spears) — TBDBITL is without a leader after The Ohio State University terminated Marching Band Director Jon Waters due to an investigation revealing “serious cultural issues and an environment conducive to sexual harassment within the Marching Band,” The Ohio State University website states.
The website says a two-month investigation concluded Director Jon Waters was aware or at least should have been aware of these problems but failed to end the behavior, prevent it from reoccurring and address its effects.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our students,” President Michael Drake said in a written statement on the website. “We expect every member of our community to live up to a common standard of decency and mutual respect and to adhere to university policies.”
Waters graduated from Ohio State in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in music education. He was a member of the Marching Band from 1995-1999. During the 2000 and 2001 seasons, he served as the band’s graduate assistant. Waters then went on to get two master’s degrees from OSU; one in music education and one in conducting. He was named director of the Marching Band in October 2012.
The investigation into Waters and the Marching Band’s environment began on May 23, 2014 when a parent of a Marching Band member reported information about the band’s sexualized culture to the Ohio State Office of University Compliance and Integrity. The parent said members were sworn to secrecy about objectionable traditions and customs.
In addition to the investigation that was already conducted, Ohio State has also appointed former Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery to lead an independent task force to further review the matter.
The website says the band season will continue under new leadership and that steps are being taken to identify a new interim band director.
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