Jon Waters, the ousted Ohio State University marching band director, has been working to regain his job with the school, according to The Los Angeles Times. Waters claims that he attempted to change the culture within the band prior to losing his job.
He was dismissed amidst allegations of a sexualized culture amongst the band members. He has also vowed to regain his job.
“This was my dream job. I love Ohio State and I love those students,” Waters told ABC News. “And I’m here to set the record straight. I’m here to point out we have taken tremendous steps to improve the culture and move the band forward.”
Multiple media outlets received statements from the school following his comments to ABC News. The school said the following:
“First and foremost, it is important to note that the marching band, like math or physics, is an academic course in which students receive credit and a grade. The band is neither a club nor an organization and its leadership and students must adhere to the same standards as any other member of the university community.”
The statement from the school also said that Waters ‘misled’ the school officials during the process.
Waters was accused of knowledge regarding a “sexualized culture” involving rituals and pranks. All of this was reported internally from a report by the school after it received a complaint from a band member’s parent.
“The sample size was tremendously small for such an important issue as band culture,” Waters told ABC. “I think I was the victim of a rush to judgment and a very inaccurate report.”
“The culture in our band is entrenched and because it’s entrenched, it doesn’t turn on a dime,” Waters said on the “Today Show.” “And so on my first day, I did indeed engage with our leadership and our leadership team in trying to shape that culture, in trying to eliminate poor behaviors.”
Again, the school disagreed with Waters’ comments, releasing the following to the media:
“University policy dictates that any employee who becomes aware of information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that sexual harassment has occurred must notify the Office of Human Resources within five working days of becoming aware of the information—the former band director did not notify university officials. In fact, he failed to inform or consult with others regarding the misconduct, as required by university policy, despite having numerous opportunities to do so over the past 18 months.”
Waters had been leading the band since 2012. He was a member of the band when in school.
Two music professors were named interim directors of the band on Monday by the school.