BRANDON, Miss. – What happens at band camp, apparently stays at band camp.
The Brandon High School band practiced for months in the heat to perform a special half-time song during the current football season, but a court order over the summer means it was all for nothing, News Channel 3 reports.
The marching band was benched from playing “How Great Thou Art” during last Friday’s football game halftime show over a court order this summer that prohibits any religious-type activity on campus.
The court order stems from a 2013 settlement with a former student who sued the Rankin County School District over prayers and other religious activities at the school. The student filed a motion of contempt of court this summer over a prayer given at a voluntary honors assembly six months after the initial settlement, and Judge Carlton Reeves – appointed by President Obama in 2010 – sided with the student in July and ordered the district to pay $7,500 for violating the agreement, the Associated Press reports.
According to the court order: “Defendants are permanently enjoined from including prayer, religious sermons or activities in any school sponsored event including but not limited to assemblies, graduations, award ceremonies, athletic events and any other school event. That means administrators, teachers and staff of the Rankin County School District may not participate in any religious activity, or solicit or encourage religious activities at school or while performing duties as an RCSD employee.”
Now, district officials are apparently playing…