High School Band Prevented From Playing At Halftime Show Because Of Religious Hymn

| by Brendan Kelly

A Mississippi high school's students and parents are upset about a judge's order that prevented their high school's band from playing at a halftime show.

U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves issued a court order on July 10 that prevented the Brandon High School band from playing the halftime show at the football team's opening game because they were planning to play a religious hymn.

Band members walked into the stadium Friday feeling defeated because the song "How Great Thou Art" made them unable to play at the big game.

Parents of band members refused to talk on camera at the game in fear of jeopardizing the band's season.

In 2013, a student sued the school district over Christian meetings that had been held on the school's property. The lawsuit was settled and the district admitted that they had violated the student's First Amendment rights. 

In July, Judge Reeves ruled that the district had violated the agreement after a Christian minister lead a prayer at an awards ceremony.

The judge warned that future violations would cost the district $10,000.

Due to the school district not wanting to deal with the fines, they told the band that they could not play at the opening game.

Parents of band members, like Mary Fairchilds, who has two children in the band, were upset that the school canceled the halftime show so close to the game.

“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,” said Fairchilds.

Parents said that the students practiced for nearly two months, with two weeks of band camp, for the performance.

Still, even with the court order, parents and students broke out in song during what would have been the halftime show.

The band will have to come up with a new halftime show to be able to perform for the rest of the season.

Sources: WJTV, Fox News / Photo credit: Fox News