Earl Arms and Shaleeka Powell, WAPT-TV, October 9, 2018
The Forest Hill High School band director is on administrative leave and an investigation is underway after a controversial performance that appeared to show students shooting fake guns at police.
“We continue to gather and process information regarding the Forest Hill High School band performance,” Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Errick L. Greene said. “We remain committed to a full and expeditious investigation and taking appropriate action.”
The performance was caught on camera Friday night during the halftime performance of Forest Hill’s game against Brookhaven High School. The performance came days after the funerals for two Brookhaven police officers who were killed in the line of duty Sept. 29.
“I don’t believe that the children of Forest Hill High School set out to go to Brookhaven to offend the community there, so there was no malice intent, but we have to take responsibility for what we do,” Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said.
Lumumba’s office confirmed over the weekend that band director Demetri Jones was placed on leave after the performance.
Greene released a statement Saturday apologizing to the Brookhaven community.
“The band’s performance does not depict the values and people in our community and was incredibly insensitive to the students, families, law enforcement officials and the entire Brookhaven community,” Greene said.
Lumumba apologized as well and said he had reached out to Brookhaven Mayor Joe Cox.