- Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps suspended over poor health care, having sex offender on staff
- Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps
Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps suspended over poor health care, having sex offender on staff
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Shoddy tour buses without air-conditioning in sweltering summer heat. Teenagers forced to provide medical care in lieu of professionals on staff. A known registered sex offender coaching the young performers. This is Pioneer, a Milwaukee-based drum and bugle corps that crosses the country each summer performing theatrical marching band numbers to devoted fans. The group, whose members face taxing, all-day practices to perfect their shows, is one of two dozen competing in the most advanced tier of the all-American niche activity. But it waited until the end of the season, despite ongoing complaints, to take the action.
Pioneer traces its roots to the St. Patrick, founded in ; although some have said that the actual founding of the corps was the start of the Thunderbolts of Cedarburg, Wisconsin in Patrick finishing in 19th place and the Thunderbolts in 28th. By , the Imperials were facing financial difficulties and the Thunderbolts were having difficulty maintaining support staff, so the two corps merged. This resulted in a member corps—much larger than most drum corps of that time—with financial and staff stability.
To maintain informational integrity, we are providing you with the same information we are sharing with members of the media later this afternoon. Earlier today, we announced the suspension of the Pioneer organization that occurred last week. Since that time, DCI has submitted the following response to questions by the media and others who are concerned about Pioneer and other policy issues. Some have asked for clarification on the timelines of policy adoptions as well as details on other topics, so our response appears in its entirety below. Drum Corps International has been investigating concerns involving the Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps for several months, but it is neither appropriate nor judicious to publicly discuss specific individuals or allegations prior to completion of the full investigation.
Pioneer later removed the sex offender from its staff, the statement said, but it provided no other details about the offender, including what position the person held. Pioneer, which was founded in , practices in Cudahy and performs an date tour across the U. The probe most recently focused on "questions of adherence to acceptable standards of health and safety for all participants," the statement said. The group also found Pioneer leaders "discouraged corps members and staff from reporting questionable incidents and circumstances. Drum corps like Pioneer feature choreographed acts in addition to music.
Amid criticism over his decision to employ a sex offender and his handling of members' safety and health concerns, the director of Milwaukee's Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps was ousted Friday from the group he helped found nearly six decades ago. The announcement came one day after the Inquirer and Daily News published online an investigation into the corps. Drum corps, with a devoted fan base, is participated in by thousands of teens and young adults who spend the summer practicing shows that combine marching band, color guard, and theatrics. The corps travel the country competing in pursuit of a national title. Get the news you need to start your day.
Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps