Alachua County Parent Jeni Smith launched a petition against the school district limiting marching bands from performing on the field and serving as pep bands only.
“We have recently heard some news regarding marching bands in Alachua county and the requirements they will have to adhere to as COVID precautions,” Smith wrote in the petition.
“The bands were asked to have no more than 50 students. This guideline is understandable during this time. However, there is one requirement in particular that is upsetting to parents and students alike. Our band students were informed today that marching bands will only serve as pep bands and will not be allowed to perform on the field during halftime or after the game concludes. While we are extremely grateful that the band students will still be allowed to be present at the football games, we are having trouble understanding the purpose of preventing them from performing their show.”
Smith commented that it was not fair for athletes to take the field when the music students have taken the same precautions in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
“All sports have been given the go ahead and it seems the only group affected at this time is marching band. This is extremely disappointing for these kids who have worked so hard.”
Newberry High School Athletic Director Bryan Roundtree confirmed that bands will remain seated and serve as pep bands at home games. Newberry plays on Friday at home against Trenton and this policy will be in place.
Smith closes the petition with, “We are grateful that sports have been given the go ahead, we are grateful that the school board was able to develop a plan to allow families the option to return to school either digitally or in person, and we are grateful that you will take this petition and its signatures into consideration and do what is right and fair for all marching band students in Alachua County.”
As of noon on Sept. 9th the petition garnered 400 signatures.
Read the full petition here.