The city offended by one Mississippi high school band’s halftime performance last week is now standing in support of the students punished for the skit.
The Forest Hill marching band from Jackson pointed fake guns at other members of the band dressed as police officers last Friday. Just two days before, officers were killed in Brookhaven, the city where the band performed. Band officials referred to the skit as their rendition of the movie, “John Q.”
Brookhaven leaders have now passed a resolution asking the Mississippi High School Activity Association to lift the band’s year-long suspension. The mayor says he doesn’t want the issue to be a permanent stain on their educational record.
The suspension is under appeal and the band director is on administrative leave.
Meanwhile, the Jackson Branch NAACP is throwing its support behind the band.
The organization released its statement Thursday. It reads, “We are deeply disappointed in the Mississippi High School Athletics Association’s severe punishment against these students, and we demand that MHSAA rescinds the penalty immediately.
It is our hope that the appeal by the Jackson Public Schools District will prevail. ‘The actions of MHSAA go against the values they claim to uphold in the development of good citizens”, says Jackson Branch President Wayne McDaniels. ‘The suspension of the band is not warranted, and it does not set a good precedent of keeping the interests of children at the forefront’.
The Jackson Branch NAACP is calling for the immediate recension of the penalty against the Forest Hill High School. We strongly condemn the unfair actions taken by MHSAA that limits music education for these Jackson Public School students.
We are asking that the community stand with these students and the Forest Hill High School community in support.”