UPDATE: Ex-OSU Band Director Sues, Alleges Discrimination

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UPDATE 9/26/2014 3:40 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Fired Ohio State marching band director Jonathan Waters filed a federal lawsuit requesting reinstatement on grounds that the university denied him due process.

The lawsuit also says the school, President Michael Drake and a provost engaged in sexual discrimination by denying him a second chance given a similarly-disciplined female employee.

The 38-year-old Waters told reporters Friday the focus of his legal fight is to restore the band's reputation.

A two-month investigation ahead of his July 24 firing concluded Waters knew about but failed to stop a "sexualized culture" within the band of rituals that included partially-clad marching, groping games and sometimes explicit nicknames.

Waters' attorneys say the report has been largely discredited. He seeks a minimum of $1 million of $1 million in damages and a court-ordered name-clearing hearing.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

UPDATE 9/5/2014 3:30 PM

ELMORE, Ohio (AP) - His hometown is preparing a show of solidarity for fired Ohio State band director Jonathan Waters.

The Woodmore High School alumni marching band plans to take to the field Friday in "We Stand with Jon Waters" T-shirts. Community members will also be invited to sign a pro-Waters banner, which will be sent along with T-shirt proceeds to Waters' legal defense fund.

The 37-year-old Waters was fired July 24 after a two-month investigation concluded he turned a blind eye to a "sexualized culture" within the band that included underwear marches, groping games and publication of a lewd songbook. Several witnesses question the findings.

The university stands by the firing and rebuffed calls for his reinstatement.

Waters is an Elmore native and 1994 graduate of Woodmore.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

UPDATE 8/5/2014 4:50 PM

The embattled former director of the Ohio State marching band, Jonathan Waters says he worked hard to change a culture of sexually explicit behavior.

Waters was fired by the school last month after a report found band members engaged in a wide variety of explicit actions, ranging from X-rated romps on the football field to forcing new members to take X-rated quizzes.

He'd led the band for two years and served as an assistant leader for a decade before that.

In an interview on the Today Show Waters says he knew of the bad behavior and worked to change the actions and mindset of band members.

"We have to eliminate all of those things. We've eliminated the midnight ramp. We have eliminated these rookie quizzes. Let me be very clear that harassment of any type is not tolerated and should not be tolerated. And we have as a staff and a leadership team taken steps to eliminate those behaviors," he says.

Waters adds the report is flawed because it doesn't contain his side of the story and pins things on him that happened before he took over.

Ohio State issued a statement noting that its marching band, like math or physics, is considered an academic course in which students receive credit and a grade.

UPDATE 7/31/2014 12:40 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The fired Ohio State University marching band director says he was working to change a culture of hazing and inappropriate rituals among members when he was dismissed.

Jonathan Waters detailed the changes he was trying to make in a seven-page document prepared when the university began investigating allegations of problems with the band. His attorney released the document Wednesday night.

The university fired Waters last week after a two-month investigation concluded he knew about but failed to stop rituals that included students being pressured to march in their underwear, sing lewd songs, and perform sexually themed stunts that yielded often-explicit nicknames.

Waters says he was taking steps to change the culture of hazing, inappropriate behavior and vulgarity.

Also Wednesday, the band's alumni association issued a statement supporting Waters.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Described as the "Best Damn Band in the Land", Thursday the Ohio State University marching band was described in a far different way.

A band with serious cultural issues - including a sexualized culture.

This all led to the firing of the band's director, Jonathan Waters.

The new president of Ohio State released a video statement saying a two month investigation revealed the problems, including sexual harassment.

The report found Waters knew about it but did nothing to stop it.

The popular 225 member band known for its radical formations and for notable Ohioans dotting the "i" in script Ohio is still set to play with the Columbus Symphony this weekend.

Former attorney general Betty Montgomery is overseeing the investigation.

The investigation report is attached to this story.

Please keep in mind there is strong content and explicit language.

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