Selma High band trip cancellation causes stir

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 1, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

The cancellation of Selma High&8217;s band trip has band members and parents confused and angry.

On Thursday, band instructor Brandon Williams was called into the principal&8217;s office to be told the band would not be performing at Mobile&8217;s Mardi Gras this weekend because the trip is not educational.

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School principal, Dr. Bruce Dozier Sr. said the trip was not canceled because it was never authorized.

All in-state trips have to be approved by the superintendent, according to Interim City

School Superintendent Dr. Verdell Dawson. However, a completed field-trip form must be approved by the principal two to three weeks in advance before it&8217;s passed to the superintendent. Dawson said the form was filled out incompletely by Williams, and was not filled out in the required time frame.

School Board Member Barbara Stapp-Hiouas said, in past years, the Mobile trip has gone before the city school board for its approval.

A lot of practicing and fund raising has gone into preparing for this trip. Parents said they were not notified that the trip would not take place before Thursday.

The band has traveled to Mobile with chaperones and participated in the event the past three years without incident, according to Williams and parents Dana Maxwell and Willie Prince. Parents have paid the required $100 per student fee for the group of 80, two busses have been chartered, and 20 hotel rooms reserved, which totaled around $6,000, Williams said.

The band is scheduled to perform Saturday at noon, on Sunday and for a final performance on Monday.

Maxwell said her daughter, Ashley, is a 10th-grader who was three points from making the A-honor roll this past grading period, &8220;is really upset about it.&8221;

&8220;Our kids are not in trouble and their doing well in school,&8221; Maxwell said. &8220;The band is constantly doing things and winning competitions.&8221;

Williams said the band has represented the school well by taking many competition titles such as &8220;All-state,&8221; &8220;Best Marching Band,&8221; and &8220;Honor Band.&8221;