Forest Hill Marching Band’s Performance Ignites Uproar

Photo Credit: The Clarion Ledger. During Forest Hill Marching Band's  halftime performance, students pointed fake guns at students dressed as police officers.

Photo Credit: The Clarion Ledger. During Forest Hill Marching Band’s halftime performance, students pointed fake guns at students dressed as police officers.

Brenna Renfroe, Staff Writer

In the halftime performance during the Forest Hill High School vs Brookhaven High School football game, the Forest Hill marching band’s performance involved students dressed as nurses and doctors pointing fake rifles at students dressed as police officers.

Forest Hill is a part of the Jackson Public Schools district. This performance at Brookhaven proved very controversial. Some people believe the show was meant to send a message to “put down the guns.”  However, most people have deemed it insensitive, especially since two Brookhaven police officers were just killed on September 29th in the line of duty. One common opinion is that a halftime show under the Friday night lights was not the right place to perform this skit.

The show caused outrage all over the state of Mississippi and even across the country, being covered by CNN and more. Governor Phil Bryant condemned the halftime show. Complaints were filed with the Mississippi High School Activities Association and the Mississippi Department of Education.

A year-long performance ban is considered being enforced on the Forest Hill High School Band, though people are arguing against this saying that it was not the students’ fault.

When asked about whether she thought this was a fair punishment, Cheyla Ramos Munoz, a color guard member in the PHS band, replied, “I don’t think that’s fair. They should not punish the students. They were just doing what they were told because they had to. Whoever came up with the idea is the one who should be punished.”

Demetri Jones, Forest Hill band director, is on leave from his job after the performance.

Not much information has been released aside from the basics. Many officials are “declining to comment” on the matter. This incident is still being investigated.