The director of Ohio State University’s marching band has been fired after an internal investigation found he presided over routine sexual harassment among students, The Columbus Dispatch reports.
A 23-page report on the investigation, conducted by the university, states that the director, Jonathan Waters, knew or should have known about a variety of inappropriate rituals and traditions among student members, including an annual practice when students march in their underwear, the expectation that first-year members perform “tricks” on command, and the performance of sexual poses on bus trips. The investigation was prompted by a parent’s complaint.
Mr. Waters was fired, effective on Thursday, said Michael V. Drake, Ohio State’s president. ”We’re looking for a future where that band can continue to thrive and do wonderful things, but some of the aspects of how the band was guided are not acceptable in the modern world,” Mr. Drake told the newspaper.
Ohio State’s marching band is one of the most famous in the country, notable for, among other things, its size. It has 225 members, according to the band’s website.
This is not the first firing in recent years to follow a sexual-harassment investigation at Ohio State. The head of the university’s cheerleading squad was fired last year after she failed to report the sexual harassment of a student member by two assistant coaches.