I am writing this letter in response to the Dec. 9 letter-to-the editor, “High school band’s display at parade disgraceful,” which criticized the Heidelberg High School band’s performance in the Christmas parade.

On Dec. 2, I also attended the Laurel Sertoma Christmas Parade. This parade has become a tradition for Heidelberg High School Band and their many supporters. As a parent, I enjoy watching my son perform, just as I do the entire band. For years, the students and parents have adjusted our schedules, gotten up early, cooked breakfast for our children, and rushed them to the school on Saturday morning to load the bus heading to Laurel for the Christmas parade.

Now, with all that being said, just imagine how the children who are Heidelberg High School band members feel to be talked about in such a manner that was submitted to the Laurel-Leader Call newspaper. In all honesty, I’m not writing this letter to throw punches or bash anyone. However, I unhesitatingly believe that the author of this letter made a mistake when accusing the Heidelberg High School Band of being “disgraceful.” There were several entries from Heidelberg. Just because he saw the word “Heidelberg” doesn’t mean that it was the Heidelberg High School Band.

As a parent, I would like for the person who submitted this letter-to-the editor to please get his facts together before giving an opinion.

At East Jasper School District, we teach our students to be respectful in all that they do; yet, we refuse to take away their heritage. Also, in order to wear the blue and gold “Power of the Pine Belt” uniform, there are certain criteria a student must meet — which includes GPA, attendance, and citizenship.

Furthermore, the author felt that their performance was “unchristian.” Well, Heidelberg High School Band actually performed some holiday music selections that included “Jingle Bells,” in addition to some of their traditional marching band music. Still, since the author wants to talk about “unchristian” and “Christmas,” let’s do so for a moment. “Unchristian” means not professing Christianity or its teachings. “Christmas” is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, who died on the cross for our sins. But, to be very brief, this time of year is really all about love. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

Furthermore, the author stated, “People wonder what is wrong with the kids of today.” To him I say, “It’s not the kids; it’s people like you.” My mother always told me to watch what I say because words are powerful, and the last thing you want to do is unintentionally offend someone. So don’t talk about the students at Heidelberg High without knowing them.

As for “BAN” Heidelberg High School Band from participating in the Laurel Sertoma Christmas Parade, you don’t have to request that the Mayor ban my son. I can ban him myself. I’m sure when I stop my son from participating in the Laurel Sertoma Christmas Parade, other parents will do the same. Heidelberg High School Band doesn’t owe the Laurel Sertoma Christmas Parade anything, and we don’t go anywhere that we’re not welcome or where we have to take abuse such as this.

Harlena Jones, band parent


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