Georgia high school band spells out racist slur ‘coon’ during performance

Parents at a Gwinnett County, Georgia high school are up in arms after marching band members took the field and spelled out a racist slur.

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Now the principal of Brookwood High School is apologizing and has launched an investigation to find out how the half-time show went left and resulted in band members spelling out “COON” instead of the teams’ name ‘BRONCOS’, FOX 5 reports.

“Not only was the appearance of this term during our halftime show hurtful and disrespectful to audience members, it also was disappointing, as it does not reflect the standards and beliefs of our school and community,” said Principal Bo Ford in a letter sent to parents and the community Saturday. He apologized calling the display a “completely unacceptable, racial term.”

The school has now launched an investigation into the school’s halftime procedures the principal said. It was revealed that the band director had stepped away because of a personal issue and wasn’t on the field. Students playing the sousaphone were reportedly behind the racist display.

“For those of you who have attended our games, you may have noticed that the sousaphones wear covers in the stands to show school spirit,” Ford said. “The covers spell out ‘BRONCOS’ and some of them feature our Bronco mascot.

“Our band does not wear these covers on the field because they shield the sound and because, during the halftime show, our band members move around the field and do not stand in the same order as they do in the stands.”

“With that in mind, 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,” the principal said.

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Red Sox game attendees hang "racism" banner at Fenway
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 13: Fans display a sign that reads 'Racism is as American as Baseball' over the Green Monster during the fourth inning of a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics on September 13, 2017 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Sep 13, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Fans on top of the Green Monster display a racism sign between the top and bottom of the fourth inning during a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 13: A banner with the message 'Racism is as American as baseball' is draped over the Green Monster during the fourth inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park on September 13, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Sep 13, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Fans on top of the Green Monster display a racism sign between the top and bottom of the fourth inning during a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 13: A banner with the message 'Racism is as American as baseball' is draped over the Green Monster by fans during the fourth inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park on September 13, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 13: A banner on racism is unfurled over the Green Monster during the fourth inning. The Boston Red Sox host the Oakland Athletics in the second of a three game series at Fenway Park in Boston on Sept. 13, 2017. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 13: A banner on racism is unfurled over the Green Monster during the fourth inning. The Boston Red Sox host the Oakland Athletics in the second of a three game series at Fenway Park in Boston on Sept. 13, 2017. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Sep 13, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Fans on top of the Green Monster display a racism sign between the top and bottom of the fourth inning during a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
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It still doesn’t quite explain why the students could spell out the derogatory term.

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Parents are outraged and calling for disciplinary actions against the students involved.

“You’re bold enough on senior night, that means your parents your grandparents are there … you’re bold enough to spell those words, and stay there long enough to have everyone take pictures?” said mother Shawn Myers to Fox 5.

Her son is a freshman in the band.

“I don’t even know if this is a black white issue, because my understanding is a couple of them were not white, so they just did something that was wrong and they need to be held accountable,” Myers said. “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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