Home » Campus » Audio: Former Ohio State band director Jonathan Waters yells, curses at student

Audio: Former Ohio State band director Jonathan Waters yells, curses at student

Editor’s note: This recording contains explicit language.


  1. Buckeye in the West

    I have had previous managers, who either have done this to me or I have witnessed it. It is not just Dr Waters. This is part of American culture. In private or public employment; complaining about something like this would get the employee dismissed. Why? HR supports the company and management.

    Being chewed out is never fun, being sweared at, less so. Yet, all one has to do is listen to how “20 somethings” talk these days, or watch anything on cable TV, and this recording seems very tame in comparison.

    Certainly this tirade was extreme frustration, and addressing an act of defiance. Though, using swear words, and yelling, was certainly not the way to deal with this situation. Unfortunately, there is no context describing the vents which led up to this recording.

  2. oh no… swearing…

  3. Wow. Big deal. The kid got his ass chewed. Who hasn’t at one time or another? No reason to fire somebody. It’d be one thing if Waters was slapping kids around but come on really? We live in a world of crybabies and sissies! Grow a pair for crying our loud!

  4. oh please, kids these days need to grow a backbone. If you are going to cry about that or be traumatized by that, then good luck in the real world. I have been chewed out worse than that by bosses, coaches, etc and I dont run around complaining or trying to get them fired. Not to mention how much worse the media hypes this up to be.

  5. You don’t think that any of the coaches in the various sports don’t yell and curse at their kids at times? It goes on in high school…I’m sure it does in college….it happens and will continue to happen…get over it

  6. Curse words destroy civil values! Our children need to be shielded from ALL negative aspects of our world!

    Swearing = damnation!
    War isn’t real!
    Great leaders are never “tough” on their subordinates!

    Nyooh Derp…

  7. Jonathan Waters is the teacher – a college professor and primary leader of an organization that SHOULD support athletics, provide a positive non-threatening, supportive and musically excellent environment for its membership. Finally, the band directors should, for the students who are there to learn how to be a band director, provide an example of how a director should treat his students.

    I would imagine that the student in this video did something that was wrong in the eyes of the director, however, intimidation, scare tactics and obscenity are not the professional ways to handle this, nor does it provide a proper example to his students who may someday become teachers.

    I seriously doubt that any parent of a band member in Junior High or High School would tolerate this type of behavior by a professional in the education setting. In this recording, Waters has clearly lost any understanding of how to provide the right kind of dialogue, nor does he discipline a student in a manner that is productive or works towards a mutual understanding.

    Rather than being dictatorial, he should have given the student an opportunity to express why he did what he did, and then (assuming the student was wrong), helped him understand why what he did was damaging to himself, and the band. Then, he should have come up with a plan of how to move forward in a positive way.

    I imagine that the student has experienced past harassment from Waters, leading to his recording of this episode.

    Who is the teacher, and who is the student? Who sets the tone for an organization? From my uninformed, outside prospective, if things weren’t already terribly wrong in the first place, this conversation would have not taken place. It is the teacher’s responsibility and obligation to ensure that conversations like these aren’t the remotest possibility, and clearly that isn’t happening under his direction.

    To Buckeye West: this is not an employee/employer relationship. Your logic does not apply.
    To Ananamous: Defaming the victim is really uncool
    And to LJ: This is not about sports, this is about music and fun, or should be. Sadly, sports in the USA have that culture. However, the students in the band did not join the football team.

  8. And we wonder why society is going to hell and a hand basket. Briney, welcome to the real world. In the real world people get yelled at when they do something they were asked specifically three times not to do. Was this over the top? Maybe a little, but as a parent of a college student, if my son had put himself in a position to have a stern talking to (yes, this is a stern talking to), then he needs to learn his lesson. The world we live in is not fantasy land. If you’re brave enough to cross the line, you better be willing to accept the punishment. The only thing that got hurt here were the students feelings. If he can’t handle with getting yelled by his band director he’s got much bigger problems.

    Also, its obvious to me that you’ve never marched before. I have and can tell you with great certainty that what these kids do is very athletic, thus, is about sports. It’s an athletic band that performs at athletic events. It takes great mental and physical ability to do what these kids do on a daily basis, and most of all it takes disincline. Before you start running your mouth that this isn’t about sports, how about you pick up a trombone and go march a day with these kids and see if you can keep up. My guess is that you’ll be more comfortable sitting behind a keyboard and telling others how it really is.Is this activity fun? Of course it is. But what makes it fun are the hours of blood, sweat and tears that go into producing a show.

  9. I would rather someone talk to my child straight up than to baby him if he screws up. I am sorry that people think that by the time adults are in college- yes, that is right. I said ADULT.. Almost none of these people in band are under 18, which makes them old enough to see an R rated movie, fight in a war, and hear each word in this recording. Their little psyche is not harmed except from the parents who created them to be timid, wiped their butts while they were still 16 years old, did their homework for them and never let them stand on their own two feet. I am quite tired of parents jumping in for their kids who do not know how to stand on their own two feet. It is because we do not teach them resilience and respect at a young age that they act like this in the first place. I feel horrified that Jon had to say those words in the first place. Many are right in the first place saying that 20, 30, 50 years ago it may not have been said, but that is because parents raised their kids to a higher standard of respecting people including teachers and other authority figures even their own parents with the utmost respect. Now we teach our children to speak their mind and do what they want, so they do. What we fail to realize is that with this power of “do whatever you want” we have riots, disregard for others and themselves, the sexual tones in younger and younger rated movies making it alright for young teens to see glamorized things, social media that is uncensored, and many other things WE ALL HAVE DONE to demoralize our own lives. Quit pointing the finger at others when you have so many pointing back at yourself, especially if you are a parent who gives your child the right to disregard what the teachers ask the kids to do in the first place. I think when you become an adult, if you can do adult things, you should pay adult consequences. I am not sure why “college” gets a special ticket while we still “baby” them and still call them “kids” until they are out. They are not still our little babies. Parents step off… I agree that if he was in a job and did not listen especially if this was more than once, no tape recorder would have been needed as he would have already been fired. He should be thanking Jon that all he got was an ASS chewing for a few minutes!!!!!!!!!!!Grow up, learn to listen, get some respect, pull your head out of your ass, and get on!

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