FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Parents of Bullard High School’s marching band held a meeting at the school Friday to discuss the band’s practice space after being told they cannot use the football field.
“I don’t see any reason why these kids should not be allowed the same access to school facilities as the athletes,” said parent and president of the Bullard Bank Backers Anthony Raimondo.
The marching band had been practicing on a field by the schools aquatic center until it got too muddy and unsafe. On Friday the marching band moved to a new area of the field that parents say, has similar issues.
Parents say wear and tear is the district’s reason for not allowing them to practice on their football field. They say district policy doesn’t allow marching bands from any of the schools to practice on the fields.
“You can’t tell me these kids marching in their tennis shoes does anywhere close to the damage that football does or soccer does practicing on the other field in their cleats,” said Raimondo.
Inside the parent meeting, there was one representative from the district in attendance, instructional superintendent Brian Wall, who took heard the parent’s frustrations.
“Band members are students who are just as important as everyone else. I wanted to hear their concerns and take those concerns back to the superintendent and really work on a solution,” said instructional superintendent Brian Wall.
Parents say safety is a new concern with the practice space and think the area is not adequately lit.
“I don’t think it’s fair at Bullard, I don’t think it’s fair at Edison, at Hoover, I don’t think its fair at any school for any kids whether it’s athletes of musicians to be treated like they are second best,” said Anthony Raimondo.
Fresno Unified officials say it’s now district policy to not let any band practice on the district’s football fields.
Parents plan to attend the October 2 Fresno Unified School Board meeting to address the board.
Students created an online petition that’s racked up more than 6,000 signatures.