HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — Glen Allen High School students are speaking out after they say the school banned songs with lyrics from most school activities.
The school made national headlines in October when a student mistakenly played a racist song over the public address system before the school’s homecoming football game.
A group called Jags4change started a petition on change.org Monday, December 14 that read:
“To all of the students, parents, and faculty, Dr. Gwen Miller (Glen Allen principal) has taken away the privilege of music containing words. This includes prom, homecoming, talent shows, Mr. Glen Allen, all athletic events, and Battle of the Classes. Sign this petition to get out freedom back!”
So far the petition has 1,043 signatures.
Henrico County School spokesperson Andy Jenks said the students’ statement are not 100 percent accurate. He said songs with lyrics were not banned from all student activities, but some adjustments have been made.
He said songs with lyrics would still be played at prom, but lyrics have been banned at some events.
“Since the inappropriate song was played in October, however, we did institute a practice during games to use songs with lyrics removed, as have several other high schools,” said Jenks.
“In light of the extraordinary wounds that were opened by the so-called “music” that was played over the public address system in October, we feel these steps are appropriate at this time to help ensure that nothing like it ever happens again,” said Jenks.
Jenks said the school will re-evaluate that approach in the summer.
School sources told CBS 6 songs with lyrics have been banned at school pep rallies, gym classes, battle night and the Mr. Glen Allen competition. Jenks said lyrics will be allowed at student performances like drama, chorus, and and videos made for class projects.
Glen Allen High School students also started a petition saying the school has banned the school’s tradition of senior quotes in the school yearbook. That petition has 395 signatures.
Jenks said the yearbook issue is unrelated to the lyric issue, but the yearbook design and layout choice is up to the schools.
This story is developing. The story will be updated as new information is learned.