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OSU Music School Director Clarifies Letter To Waters' Parents

Ohio State University Marching Band performs Script Ohio

Ohio State University’s School of Music director clarified the intent of a letter he wrote last year to the parents of fired band director Jon Waters.

In a statement released by the university, Richard Blatti said the letter was an attempt to console Waters’ parents, close family friends. 

"I never expected my personal letter would be used by Mr. Waters in this manner," Blatti said. 

In the letter to Waters’ parents, Blatti expressed his disappointment in the way the board of trustees handled Waters’ firing. Blatti now writes he has come to understand the process and reasoning behind Ohio State’s decision to terminate Waters.

Waters produced the letter in a court filing Wednesday. The letter was submitted to show the board of trustees was behind his firing.

The university said Blatti’s letter is “irrelevant” to Waters' lawsuit.

In its statement, OSU said, "Dr. Blatti’s letter only shows that he was a family friend of Mr. Waters and was reaching out to the Waters family as a friend."

Waters has four months to prove his gender discrimination claim in a federal civil-rights lawsuit.  Waters' attorneys have sought a two-month extension to gather board-related information.

Waters has sought reinstatement and $1 million in damages.

OSU fired Waters for ignoring what it called a "sexualized culture" within the band.