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Parents Outraged After Georgia High School Band Spells Out Racial Term; Principal Apologizes

The principal for Brookwood High School in Snellville, Georgia recently apologized to parents, students and the community after band members spelled out the word “coon” during their half-time performance on Friday.

Principal William Bo Ford Jr. of the Gwinnett County high school sent a letter out to parents, apologizing for the “completely unacceptable, racial term.” According to Ford, during Brookwood High School’s football game against Lakeside High School, Brookwood band members assembled together to spell out the word “coon” using their instrument covers used to spell “Broncos.”

Bo Ford

Ford explained that some of the instruments have covers that are supposed to spell out the name of the school’s mascot, “Broncos”. The covers are usually not worn on the field, but “when the sousaphone players took the field, they did not follow band rules and normal practice, and instead, they left the covers on their instruments.” Unfortunately, a band director was not on the field during the half-time show to stop students due to a “very busy senior night.”

Sloan Roach, spokeswoman for Gwinnett County Schools told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that she doesn’t see any action being taken against faculty members and couldn’t “speculate as to discipline for students as the school’s investigation is still ongoing.”

The Brookwood High School principal added that there will be “disciplinary action with the students involved” and apologized for the “hurtful and disrespectful” term to audience members.

Some parents, on the other hand, felt that an email wasn’t enough and want to see the involved students expelled.

“You’re bold enough on senior night, that means your parents and grandparents are there … you’re bold enough to spell those words, and stay long enough to have everyone take pictures?” Shawn Myers told WAGA.

Myers said she wants to see the students punished harshly for their actions.

“I want them expelled. I will not stop until these students are expelled. They do not need to be back in that school until they learn that everyone is there for the same reason — regardless of color — to get an education.”

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