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Bethune-Cook president launches an internal investigation into alleged hazing attack

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Trudie Kibbe Reed said Friday she’s taking the now former student’s complaint “very seriously” and if there needs to be further inquiries into the Marching Wildcats — “it will be done.”

“The last thing I want to do is send a kid home in a coffin. I just won’t do it,” Reed said Friday, referring to the death of a drum major last month at Florida A&M University amid hazing allegations.

University officials confirmed media reports that student Christopher King made a complaint that he had been hazed by fellow band members.

King could not be reached for comment. He told The Orlando Sentinel he was hit in the back of the neck so forcefully and often that he blacked out several times. He also described being made to roll around in the mud and do strenuous exercises.

Dwaun Warmack, Bethune-Cookman vice president for student affairs, said the university in August “did a full investigation and based on our investigation found one student in violation of the student code of conduct.” But Warmack would not say whether that code of conduct violation involved hazing.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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