Parents outraged after band is left out of high school senior night

NOW: Parents outraged after band is left out of high school senior night


WATERVLIET, Mich. -- Some Watervliet parents are weighing in after high school band members found out they’d be left out of this year’s senior night while cheerleaders and football players are still included.

“She’s a senior, this is it, what about my band senior? Because they’re included every other year,” said parent Keith Henagan.

Despite daily practices and class, this is the first time Watervliet’s marching band has not been able to cheer on the football team on Friday nights.

“Practicing for what, I don’t get it? If you’re not going to be invited to any of be football games what are you practicing for?,” said parent Patty Henagan.

These parents said they were told last minute the band could not come to any games and the superintendent blamed COVID-19 restrictions.

“We were told that due to the Governor the bands can’t play, but we’re not asking for the bands to be there to play, we’re asking for the seniors to be there to participate in senior night,” said Keith.

The request comes after band parents found out through others, not the school, that they also can’t participate in senior night – a tradition for band, cheerleaders and football players.

Watervliet Public Schools Superintendent Ric Seager declined to speak with ABC57 but provided a written statement:

At Watervliet Public Schools we are saddened by the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and the limitations that we are required to operate under as a result of the pandemic. We are especially heavy-hearted with the impacts these events have had on the lives of our students and the traditions of our school and community. We mourn the loss of these opportunities along with our school community. Nevertheless, Watervliet Public Schools will continue to abide by all applicable policies, laws, regulations, and executive orders in our efforts to provide the safest environment we can for our students, staff, and community. Watervliet Public Schools are, as always, committed to doing everything we can within these parameters to provide students opportunities to participate in all the activities we offer. We have extended an invitation to have a dialogue with any affected groups who have reached out to us. We are always open to considering alternative ways in which to honor our students for their hard work and accomplishments, where rules surrounding the pandemic have compromised traditional practices. We look forward to their acceptance of this invitation.

These parents, though, said the superintendent could be doing much more to find a solution.

“These four seniors, the ones that have been there since fifth grade and all the way through this, they deserve that time on that field,” said Patty.

Watervliet senior night is during this Friday night’s football game.

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