A halftime performance, performed by Beaumont’s Central High School Band last Saturday, is causing controversy in the Southeast Texas town.
It started as the band played and the narrator said, “Wait a minute, I got someone for you, Mister Romney. Big Bird is in the house.”
It was the cue for a student in a Big Bird costume to throw a pretend punch at another student wearing a Romney mask, and knock Romney him down.
On Monday, November 05, 2012, the clip of the Bird assault on Mitt made it to the DRUDGE REPORT. It was soon picked up by local Beaumont TV stations KBMT and KFDM.
As of this writing, there were over 260 comments on KFDM’s Facebook page. The tone of the comments is mixed, as some downplay the importance of the event and others suggest it displayed bad taste, and worse.
Go here for the video clip that appeared on DRUDGE.
Here’s the official statement about the event from the Beaumont Independent School District (BISD):
Beaumont Independent School District
3395 Harrison Avenue Beaumont, Texas 77706
Office of the Superintendent • Department of Communications
Jessie Haynes, APR, Special Assistant for Communications (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ron Reynolds, Communications Specialist (email@example.com)
Ramona Young, Administrative Assistant (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Phone: 409.617.5042 • Fax: 409.617.5181
November 4, 2012
Central High School Band’s Halftime Performance:
Beaumont ISD administrators met today with Central High School campus administrators and the band directors. The video from Saturday’s high school band halftime show has been thoroughly reviewed to examine the appropriateness of the performance. While BISD leaders are confident the intentions of the band and band director were to raise awareness of voting and not support any candidate, a message has been conveyed about the importance of avoiding the appearance of physical attack and political satire that can be construed as bias.
Central High School leaders regret any act that appeared to some as a negative message and/or a political endorsement. Campus administrators and band leaders have been instructed to thoroughly examine how students plan to express their creativity as it relates to political rhetoric.
Central Medical Magnet High School Band and Fine Arts Program will continue its traditions of great and award-winning entertainment as the district remains focused on student achievement.
About Beaumont ISD
The Beaumont Independent School District has 28 schools with nearly 20,000 students and 3,500 employees. The Texas Education Agency school district with several top- rated schools, including three Blue Ribbon schools, two US News & World Report Best High Schools, #23 on Houston Chronicle’s Top 100 Workplace, Business Review USA Listing as One of Nation’s Top 10 School Districts, Texas Education Agency Exemplary & Recognized Schools, American College Testing—National Model Schools, National Center on Educational Achievement—Higher Performance Schools, U.S. Department of Education Model Parent Involvement Program, National Model for School Nutrition, National League of Cities NBC-LEO National Model School District and the World’s Premiere Reasoning Mind Program.
Responding to the official statement, BISD Board member Tom Neild described it as “milk toast…nothing to it…wet and soggy”. He noted that “some people are really upset about this…there didn’t need to be a punch scene…[it has a] hidden message [about a] defeat of Governor Romney…once the message comes across to turn to violence, [it] casts a negative impact on our city.”
When asked how the skit “raised awareness of voting,” as was stated in the official statement, Ron Reynolds, Communications Specialist for the BISD, stated that the scene was related to the first Presidential debate where Romney spoke of cutting funding to the Public Broadcasting Corporation.
Reynolds hinted that the punch scene may have represented an improvisation added by the on-field performers and may not have been part of the performance plan. He would not comment on any disciplinary action planned.