DCI Statement, January 9, 2022


DCI takes any complaint of misconduct in the drum corps activity seriously. There is no higher priority than protecting the safety, health and welfare of drum corps members, staff and volunteers taking part in our participating organizations, activities and events.

In August, DCI received a complaint against the Spirit of Atlanta organization for violations of the DCI Code of Conduct by performing members of the organization. The serious nature of this report immediately triggered an independent investigation in accordance with DCI’s ethics and compliance reporting policies and procedures.

A comprehensive review was conducted by an independent investigation firm retained by DCI to focus on Spirit of Atlanta’s response to the misconduct reports.

The independent investigation found that Spirit of Atlanta, among other things:

  • Failed to properly investigate or respond to credible complaints of misconduct.
  • Failed to articulate, internally and externally, the job duties of persons in authority and those charged with the duty to keep participants safe.
  • Failed to properly train performers, staff, volunteers, administration and its board relative to Spirit of Atlanta’s and DCI’s Code of Conduct.

After reviewing the report from the independent investigation firm, and discussing the findings with the Spirit of Atlanta management, the complainant and the complainant’s parents, the DCI Board of Directors adopted the findings and recommendations of the report in full and placed the Spirit of Atlanta organization on probation for a period of 24 months. The terms of the probation require, among other things, that Spirit of Atlanta:

  • Demonstrate that it can comply with the DCI Code of Conduct in all areas of its operation.
  • Engage an independent third-party consultant to review Spirit of Atlanta’s organizational and training processes, clarify its accountability structure, and create and implement policies and procedures that ensure Spirit of Atlanta’s code of conduct and other policies align with or exceed the requirements of the DCI Code of Conduct.
  • Create a senior leadership position whose principal focus is to ensure that staff, volunteers and performers are provided with a positive working environment and have appropriate training and resources to ensure the health and welfare of all involved.

Spirit of Atlanta has accepted the terms of the probation and stated their commitment to compliance. DCI’s Board of Directors and management will be closely monitoring Spirit of Atlanta’s compliance with the probationary terms.

In the past year, Drum Corps International has substantially revised its Code of Conduct, policies, procedures and processes to assure the good health, welfare and safety of all persons that participate in our activity. In close partnership with its member organizations, DCI will continue to foster a safe, rewarding, positive and educationally appropriate environment for all.

To support these efforts, additional comprehensive resources are currently in development and will be announced in the coming months. DCI will continue to take any complaints of misconduct seriously and encourages anyone with knowledge of such misconduct to report it.

Additional Resources

DCI Ethics and Compliance Reporting
DCI Community Code of Conduct and Ethics Guidelines

6 thoughts on “DCI Statement, January 9, 2022”

  1. Statement from Spirit of Atlanta

    During the 2021 summer tour, inappropriate behaviors occurred among performing members of Spirit of Atlanta that the organization neither condones nor tolerates in any way. We support and commend those that have come forward to report these behaviors. We are committed to working with those who have come forward, and working to be better.

    Spirit has been involved and cooperative in ongoing conversations, related investigations with the Drum Corps International (DCI) Board and independent third-parties regarding this matter. Additionally, Spirit has been in direct communication with affected members and their parents to investigate and address this situation. As a result of the investigations and the findings, Spirit has been placed on probation for 24 months, and the organization is fully devoted to complying to it and any other necessary actions. This probation does not impact Spirit’s competitive participation in the 2022 Summer Tour.

    The leadership of Spirit is wholly engaged and committed to working with DCI to provide an environment and culture focused on safety representing a model for the DCI activity. Spirit will continue to evaluate, update, and evolve our training and reporting processes to ensure a safe environment for members, staff, and volunteers.

    DCI’s full statement on the matter may be found at dci.org.

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