A high school marching band in Georgia is facing disciplinary action after it spelled out a racist slur during a halftime show at a football game on Friday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was first to report.
Members of the Brookwood High School in Gwinnett County marching band spelled out the word “co*n” using their instrument covers instead of their usual “Broncos,” which references the school’s mascot, according to the New York Post.
“For those of you who have attended our games, you may have noticed that the sousaphones (a brass instrument similar to a tuba) wear covers in the stands to show school spirit,” Principal William Bo Ford Jr. wrote in a letter to students and parents, per the Post. “The covers spell out BRONCOS and some of them feature our Bronco mascot.”
Ford added that the band director was not on the field when band members were ready to perform, and they did not follow proper brand rules. He said there would be a review of procedures for future halftime shows, and the student involved would be disciplined.
“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,” he wrote.
A few parents expressed their outrage over the slur and called for the students to be kicked out of the school.
“You’re bold enough on senior night, that means your parents and grandparents are there … you’re bold enough to spell those words, and stay long enough to have everyone take pictures?” a parent, Shawn Myers, told WAGA. “That’s not right. Haven’t heard it in years, it’s to belittle black people, it’s an insult,” Myers continued. “It’s just like saying the N-word, but this is worse because it’s coming from students at a public high school.”