A misguided halftime show
Let’s concede that it’s usually OK when teenage artistry is creative and even sometimes a little unsettling to older, wiser people.
However, teenagers still need guidance to prevent them from going too far, and this supervision was clearly lacking last Friday night in Brookhaven, when the Forest Hill High School marching band’s halftime program included several students holding toy guns over three people on the ground.
The display of fake weapons showed incredibly poor judgment from band officials, who either did not know or forgot that two Brookhaven police officers had been killed on duty the prior weekend.
The band director reportedly has been placed on leave, and the mayor of Jackson has apologized for the performance. It apparently was based on a hostage scene from the Denzel Washington movie John Q and included students in medical clothing pointing weapons at those on the ground.
Pictures from the halftime performance made the rounds of social media over the weekend, which only elevates the embarrassment that the halftime show is causing the school.
It would be interesting to know if this is the first time the band has performed the program. If not, that means it didn’t create a stir before last weekend, and that may be the larger lesson of this sad episode.
Yes, the display of weapons was completely inappropriate in Brookhaven, where two police officers who died of gunshot wounds were buried just a couple of days before. It was a case of horrible timing.
But it would not be appropriate anywhere. Did anyone stop to remember, for example, that guns are forbidden on high school campuses? This fact alone would be a reason to back away from a performance that included weapons.