Band Director Gets Job Back After Termination For Anti-Cop Halftime Skit

Forest Hill High School band director Demetri Jones will be going back to work, the school board decided.

Jackson, MS – The high school band director who was fired after he instructed students to perform a halftime skit depicting the execution of police officers is getting his job back.

Forest Hill High School band director Demetri Jones was fired by Jackson Public Schools administrators shortly after the Oct. 5, 2018 performance in Brookhaven, WLBT reported.

The visiting school performed the skit just one week after Brookhaven Police Patrolman James White and Corporal Zack Moak were murdered in the line of duty.

During their halftime performance, students dressed as nurses and doctors used fake rifles to depict the execution of students dressed as police officers.

Shortly after video footage of the halftime performance went viral, Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Errick L. Greene offered his “deep and sincere apologies for the performance,” the Jackson Free Press reported.

"The performance included toy-guns and the apparent shooting of a character in a dramatized scene that played out on the field as the band played. The scene is an interpretation of the movie 'John Q.,’" Greene confirmed.

In the film ‘John Q.,’ actor Denzel Washington played the role of a man whose son needed a lifesaving heart transplant that Washington’s character could not afford due to medical insurance limitations, the Jackson Free Press reported.

In one scene, the main character holds a SWAT officer hostage, which is vastly different than what appeared in the high school performance.

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner Marshall Fisher said the performance “only exacerbates the war against law enforcement” across the country, WLOX reported.

“Mimicking acts of violence against law enforcement, or members of the public should never be condoned at a high school football game or any function whatsoever,” Fisher said. “I have to question whoever made this decision in regards to what message they are sending to our children.”

Jones was suspended shortly after the incident occurred.

A group of his supporters claimed that he was unaware about the widely-publicized murders of the local Brookhaven officers prior to the halftime performance, WLBT reported.

Although Jones was fired by school district administrators, the Jackson Public Schools Board recently overturned that decision, according to WLBT.

“The Board of Trustees, having reviewed the case, has changed the termination of the band director to a three-month suspension without pay,” Greene and Board President Jeanne Hairston announced in a statement.

“While the Board and the Administration differed on this decision, we are looking ahead, united, in our shared commitment to excellence in service to children and families even in the face of tough decisions yet to come,” the statement read.

But having Jones back at the helm won’t overturn the penalty that the Mississippi High Schools Activities Association (MHSAA) imposed against the marching band shortly after the incident occurred.

The MHSAA determined that the band members displayed “inappropriate conduct” during the halftime performance, and suspended them from playing at any other MHSAA-sanctioned events for the rest of the academic year, WBLT reported.

More specifically, the MHSAA found the performance was “unbecoming of a wholesome band program,” and that it demonstrated a “lack of administrative control.”

“We think that is unfair,” Reverend Dwayne Pickett told WAPT at the time. “They deserve the right to be heard. They deserve the right to perform and do what they love to do.”

Forest Hill junior Kameron Taylor said that the entire point of the performance went right over Brookhaven citizens’ heads, the Clarion Ledger reported.

"I think the people of Brookhaven misunderstood the entire show," Taylor declared. "They're judging the performance off of one snippet. People should look deeper and evaluate the show before making these decisions."

Comments (18)
No. 1-15
LEO0301
LEO0301

Pickett and Taylor need to shut the F - up. Students don't deserve the right to be heard and do and say whatever they want. They are children and the adult teacher(s) should be doing their best to steer them in the right direction. Even if the band director was unaware an officer was killed, which is highly unlikely, he should know better than to put on a skit depicting the execution of police officers.

Rotorblade
Rotorblade

"They deserve the right to be heard" said Rev. Pickett...

This is an indication of a poor education on the subject. There is no such a thing as a "right to be heard"...

Such a thing would then require others to stay and listen.

You have a right to SPEAK...nobody is required to pay attention.

JBo
JBo

"People should look deeper and evaluate the show before making these decisions."

Really? I tried that and came up with the same answer: glorifying murder of law enforcement officers.

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

Oh, great - he can come back to school and continue to teach kids with brains full of mush. I think it has been scientifically proven that the brains of teenagers and young adults up to the age of 25 years or so are still changing.

Sandman4x4
Sandman4x4

What a bunch of absurd bullshot! How is this mut getting his taxpayer supported job back, when some young child get thrown out of school for having a piece of bread he took bites out of to resemble a pistol???!!!

Teijeiro2
Teijeiro2

NO WE GOT IT DEARY. You are BLM FILTH and cop murders in the making.

Crazy horse
Crazy horse

He is a stupid man, that should not be with children, at all.

JimW164
JimW164

Once you really absorb the news, it becomes clear that progressives don't give a crap about law enforcement or white people in general.

DaveZ
DaveZ

The fact that a teacher would allow “guns” to be used in a school skit on school property without getting permission from higher up in educational system (principal) alone should warrant his firing....he obviously knew what he was doing and the message he was sending. He should not be allowed to ever work in education again- even band camp

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

Forest Hill High School band director >>>Demetri Jones<<< will be going back to work, the school board decided.Jackson, MS

CALL AND LET THEM KNOW THEIR IGNORANT BEHAVIORS DO NOT GO UNNOTICED OR UNCHALLENGED. KEEP CALLING. I WAS HUNG UP ON WHEN I FIRST CALLED TRYING TO VOICE CONCERNS. (Second call went much better ) "DEMETRI JONES MUST GO" AND HE SHOULD NEVER TEACH AGAIN.

Forest Hill High School High School Hours: Open, 7:30 am - 5:00 pm Phone: 601 960 8700 (better) (601) 371-4313 ( was hung up on) Address: 2607 Raymond Rd, Jackson, MS 39212

Stanracer
Stanracer

Disgusting turn of events.

Marxest
Marxest

That's good that he got his job back. Some people were offended by the performance he organized and his actions. So what. Leaders have worn black face and have made racist, demeaning comments and mocked instances of racial violence, and they are still on the job and in office. Why should he be punished when other guilty parties aren't? Good luck to you Demetri Jones.

LPD133
LPD133

Absolutely inexcusable and disgusting.

HH3
HH3

EVERYONE - flood the school district with emails. Let them know of our anger of this decision. I find if very offensive that a coach who after a game went to the fifty yard line to pray was fired!!, yet, this was allowed to happen. It's a sad statement that "shooting kids" is accepted but praying is not.

DieselDawg
DieselDawg

The usual suspects.