The penalties assessed to the Forest Hill High School Band have been upheld.
The band was suspended following an insensitive halftime performance during their game at Brookhaven earlier this month. Just days after two Brookhaven officers were killed in the line of duty, the performance involved band members dressed as police officers being held at gunpoint by other members dressed as doctors and nurses.
Following outrage and calls for accountability, the band director, Demetri Jones, was suspended. Days later, the Mississippi High School Activities Association issued a penalty to the band which stated that they could not perform on the field for the rest of the season.
After the notice, the Jackson Public School District appealed the penalty, but during today’s hearing, the penalty was upheld. Executive Director of the MSHAA Don Hinton reportedly stated that they do not believe the performance was approved by the school.
In a recent interview, Jones stated that the performance was supposed to mimic the movie ‘John Q’ and that he was unaware of the situation in Brookhaven until after the band’s performance.
The Brookhaven Board of Aldermen recently stated that the band should not be penalized for the performance.
With the penalty, the band can perform in the stands at home games, but they cannot compete in competitions or travel to away games for the rest of the year.