Now that Forest Hill’s band director has his job back, how do residents in Brookhaven feel?

“I think it’s messed up that he got his job back. I feel like there should have been more punishment to it, consequences.”

Reaction to JPS band director reinstatement

BROOKHAVEN, MS (WLBT) - The Forest Hill High School Band Director, fired over a controversial half-time performance in Brookhaven last October, now has his job back.

“Whaaat?” said Robin Wilcox moments before her shift started at Georgia Blue in downtown Brookhaven. That was the consensus among most people 3 on Your Side spoke with after they learned that Demitri Jones was reinstated.

Robin Wilcox and Jacey Whittington respond to news that Forest Hill Band Director has his job back.
Robin Wilcox and Jacey Whittington respond to news that Forest Hill Band Director has his job back.

In a joint statement released by Jackson Public School Board President Dr. Jeanne Hairston and JPS Superintendent Dr. Errick Green, it reads “The Board of Trustees, after reviewing the case, has changed the termination of the band director to a three month suspension without pay.”

During a half-time performance at Brookhaven High School, a skit directed by Jones showed students dressed as nurses and doctors pointing toy guns at other students dressed as SWAT members.

They were allegedly reenacting a scene from the movie John Q.

The problem, however, was the timing. Just two days before, Brookhaven police officers Zack Moak and James White were shot and killed.

Forest Hill band students re-enact scene from movie during half-time show depicting doctors and nurses shoot police officers.
Forest Hill band students re-enact scene from movie during half-time show depicting doctors and nurses shoot police officers.

Jacey Whittington and Robin Wilcox both went to high school in Brookhaven and were disappointed with the news regarding Jones.

“I think it’s messed up that he got his job back. I feel like there should have been more punishment to it, consequences,” said Wilcox. “I mean, he’s got how many younger kids watching him do that?"

"Yeah, he’s an authority figure,” Whittington interjected.

Southern Miss student Kennedy Foster says she was also upset. “I think, you know, anytime that you’re almost making a mockery out of people losing their lives, no matter who they are on this whole entire earth, when you do something like that, I think you should be punished for it. I don’t think he should have his job back.”

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