High school band director suspended for depiction of killing police, school apologizes

Published: Oct. 6, 2018 at 2:59 PM EDT
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October 6, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) -- The Forest Hill High School band director is suspended from his duties, the mayor says, after provoking public outrage at Friday night’s halftime show.

The Forest Hill High School band is receiving national criticism for their performance at a game with Brookhaven High School. Band members reportedly pointed guns at students laying on the ground, dressed as law enforcement, days after two Brookhaven Police officers were shot to death.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant responded Saturday, tweeting, “This is unacceptable in a civilized society. Someone should be held accountable.”

The Jackson School District apologized for the halftime show, saying the act was based on “the movie John Q,” which depicts a hostage situation, according to a press release from the school.

School superintendent Dr. Errick Greene said, “I want to offer my deep and sincere apologies for the performance by the Forest Hill High School band during Friday’s football halftime show in Brookhaven."

"JPS has a great deal of respect and appreciation for our law enforcement partners,” Greene said. "The band’s performance does not depict the values and people in our community, and was incredibly insensitive to the students, families, law enforcement officials and the entire Brookhaven community. For this we sincerely apologize to all, and we pledge to do better in the future.”

“We have taken some initial actions in response to this matter, and you have my commitment that we will investigate it fully and take additional appropriate action with respect to procedures and personnel,” Greene added.

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