Santa Fe High School Raider Regiment petition results in approval for performing their show after football games
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
Jeni Smith started a petition to persuade the Alachua County School Board to allow marching bands to perform their shows on the field, either at half time or after football games.
The petition said that bands have been limited to 50 members and were told that they could only serve as pep bands, with no marching on the field. The petition said, “The Santa Fe Raider Regiment have been rehearsing since late July. They have followed all guidelines including small groups, masks when not outside or practicing, social distancing, temperature checks before every rehearsal, sanitizer readily available, as well as wiping down equipment after rehearsals. They met five days a week for two weeks for their band camp and continued to meet twice a week in the evenings prior to the start of school. Now that school is in session, they continue to rehearse three hours a day, three times a week. An extremely important fact we would like to point out, is that there have been exactly Zero cases of COVID amongst our students during this entire time period.”
The petition also described changes in this year’s show to adjust to COVID precautions: “Typically during a marching season, students work on a competitive show to compete against other local and state bands. With COVID, these competitions have been canceled this year as there is not a way to have that many people together safely. As a result, our band postponed their competition show and developed a brand new show that would allow for greater distancing among students and that was shorter in performance time. Rather than a 12 minute show, the time was cut in half to at least give the students something to work towards and that would be safer all around. I would like to note the CDC as well as Alachua County schools define the risk of significant exposure as being within 6 feet of someone for greater than 15 minutes. Our show is much less than that time frame.”
The petition went on to point out that the band students have observed football players “practicing, huddled close together, no masks, no distancing, and they are allowed to continue on as usual. It’s the fact that volleyball, a sport played indoors mind you, is allowed to continue as normal. The cheerleaders, are allowed to perform on the sidelines as usual. It’s business as usual for everyone except for them.”
The petition reached its goal of 500 signatures yesterday, and Smith posted this message: “We have gotten word from the school board and our administration that the Raider Regiment will be allowed to perform their show after the game!! I encourage band parents from other Alachua County schools to check with their administration. There is still a 50 member cap per game, but that is to be expected with COVID. Thank you everyone who took time to sign and share!!”