It’s the first game of the season for Brandon High School, but several parents and students are more upset than excited.
It’s all because there isn’t a halftime show from the band and that’s a judge’s order, all stemming from a song.
Band members walked into the stadium Friday evening with their instruments by their side and their heads hanging low, all because the song “How Great Thou Art” is preventing them from performing at halftime.
A court order from Judge Carlton Reeves issued July 10th is the reason Brandon High School’s band members are unable perform on the field for the football seasons opening game.
Several parents at the game refused to talk on camera in fear of the district jeopardizing the bands season.
Mary Fairchilds has two students in the band and she says they were told the news Friday afternoon, “It’s really unfair to just tell them at the last minute you can’t perform your halftime show and that the show has been cancelled.”
The reason behind the federal court order is that administrators, teachers and staff participating in prayer and religious activities is prohibited from the Rankin County School District.
“The school board approved the show at the end of last year before summer started and I feel like if they had an issue with the show they really should have let somebody know before band camp and before these kids have put all this time and effort into the show,” says Fairchilds.
Parents say students went through nearly two months of practice with two weeks of band camp for this performance.
“The kids have worked very hard in 100 degree heat and they waited until the last minute to tell them. They could have handled this much better,” says Trey Fairchilds, parent.
But even with this order from the judge, it didn’t prevent parents and students from breaking out in song during what would have been the bands half time show.
Moving forward the parents say the band has to come up with a new half time show.
If they were to go forward with the performance the school would face a $10,000 fine.