Union County Public Schools: End the ban on lyrics at athletic events
  • Petitioned Dr. Mary Ellis

This petition was delivered to:

Dr. Mary Ellis
Deputy Superintendent
Dr. Mike Webb
Athletic Director
Doug Jones
UCPS Board of Education, Chairman
Richard Yercheck
UCPS Board of Education, District 1
John Crowder
UCPS Board of Education, District 2
Kevin Stewart
UCPS Board of Education, District 4
Rick Pigg
UCPS Board of Education, District 5
John Collins
UCPS Board of Education, Vice Chairman
Marce Savage
UCPS Board of Education, At Large
Mike Guzman
UCPS Board of Education, At Large
Christina Helms
UCPS Board of Education, At Large
Sherry Hodges

Union County Public Schools: End the ban on lyrics at athletic events

    1. Karen Shelton
    2. Petition by

      Karen Shelton

      Waxhaw, NC

September 2013


From Karen Shelton: After over 700 petition signatures, newspaper and television news coverage, school board meeting speeches and a lot of community discussion, the school board rescinded the all out ban on music lyrics at school athletic events. They implemented a committee that screens and approves music.

Union County Public School administrators have implemented a Footloose style rule forbidding any music with lyrics during any part of a school athletic event. Athletes cannot warm up to the music of their choice and our cheerleaders and dancers cannot perform to music that entertains. We all want a family friendly environment at games with appropriate music, but this 1950s era rule has no place in a 21st century school district. We seem to be the only school system in North Carolina and perhaps the entire country with this restrictive of a policy on music. . UCPS has refused common sense solutions that would address their concerns about offensive lyrics while also respecting our students rights of expression and the wishes of the fans.

Music is an important part of any sporting event. It drives our athletes, inspires our dancers, and entertains the fans. Lyrics convey a message chosen by the students. The "instrumental only" rule is an unnecessary restriction on student athletes who warm up and are motivated by the music and on cheerleaders and dancers who perform to the music.

As we finish this school year and look ahead to 2013-14, we call upon UCPS to immediately end the ban on lyrics and allow each team's coaches to select appropriate music for games and performances. Rather than punish and silence the voices of all students across all sports and schools, we request that a written policy be implemented with a common sense, simple plan to screen music and allow appropriate lyrics at all school events. 

Recent signatures


    1. Lyrics Return to UCPS

      Karen Shelton
      Petition Organizer

      This week, UCPS announced that they will form a committee to screen and approve music to be played at school sporting events. Over 750 signed this petition to achieve this change, and it appears that the ban on lyrics has been overturned! We need to keep an eye on the implementation of the guidelines to be sure that each school is allowed to express themselves through music at athletic events. I'm looking forward to the first athletic events of the school year. When I hear some great tunes, I will know it is time to close the petition and declare a "victory." Thanks!

    2. Reached 750 signatures
    3. 1000 Signatures by July 10th!

      Karen Shelton
      Petition Organizer

      The School Board and Superintendent were very receptive to the students, coaches and parents who spoke at Tuesday night's school board meeting. We are being heard. They announced that an administration meeting will take place on July 10th. I believe that a resolution that is focused on our students and community will occur at that time. Please continue to share the petition and encourage the principals and high school athletic directors to move towards a common sense plan. Let's see if we can reach 1000 signatures before the July 10th meeting so this won't fall off the radar! Thank you for all the support.

    4. School Board Meeting 7pm Tuesday!

      Karen Shelton
      Petition Organizer

      Please attend the school board meeting on Tuesday June 4th at 7pm at Porter Ridge Elementary 2843 Ridge Rd, Indian Trail, NC 28079. Parents and students are especially encouraged to speak during public comments about how the lyrics ban impacts their sport and school community.

    5. Over 500 Signatures!

      Karen Shelton
      Petition Organizer

      School Board Meeting 7pm, Tuesday June 4th at Porter Ridge Elementary.

      Watch Thursday's NBC Charlotte news story here: http://www.wcnc.com/news/neighborhood-news/Hundreds-fight-to-end-lyrics-ban-at-Union-County-schools-209528051.html

      Visit the Enquirer Journal.com homepage to cast your "vote" about lyrics. (Scroll down to see the vote on the right side). http://www.enquirerjournal.com/

      Hundreds fight to end lyrics ban at Union County schools athletic events

      UNION COUNTY, N.C. -- A proposal to end a ban on playing any music with lyrics at school athletic events in Union County has hundreds of online supporters. Union County Public Schools spokesperson Rob Jackson says the district enacted the guidelines for the 2012-2013 school year because of complaints about offensive lyrics.

    6. Reached 500 signatures
    7. Over 400 Supporters!

      Karen Shelton
      Petition Organizer

      Over 400 people signed the petition in favor of common sense over blanket restrictions! Our petition to end the ban on lyrics at Union County Public Schools athletic events will be discussed on WCNC NBC Charlotte News tonight at 11pm!

    8. Halfway There! Tune in to Fox News Charlotte tonight at 10pm

      Karen Shelton
      Petition Organizer

      We have exceeded 250 supporters towards our goal of 500 signatures by Tuesday's school board meeting! Please keep spreading the word. The discussion will continue on Fox News Charlotte tonight at 10pm!

    9. Reached 250 signatures
    10. Reached 200 signatures!

      Karen Shelton
      Petition Organizer

      We have exceeded 200 signatures in less than 24 hours! Our new goal is 500 signatures by the school board meeting next Tuesday, June 4th, at 7pm at Porter Ridge Elementary. Please consider personally calling your school board representative, athletic director and principal to encourage them to support lifting the ban. The athletic directors and principals were the ones who "voted" to keep the rule in place for the next year.

    11. Reached 200 signatures
    12. Reached 100 Signatures!

      Karen Shelton
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you for your swift support! We have reached over 100 supporters. Please keep spreading the word.

    13. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • James Pettigrew INDIAN TRAIL, NC
      • about 1 year ago

      This is censorship at its worst. Does this mean that if the athletes or parents want to sing the National Anthem that it is prohibited? Hmmmmm, could the roots of Big Brother start with what some one person things is inappropriate. Maybe, the lyrics should be approved but allowed.

    • mary Davis WAXHAW, NC
      • about 1 year ago

      I have a grandson in High school an he plays sports .He says music the players like current music they know .

    • April VanDerWeele MONROE, NC
      • about 1 year ago

      Every individual should have it's choice on what kind of music to listen to while practicing for the sport. I agree the music played during the game should not be offensive. I'm sure the coaches pick a family friendly song. But when they are practicing, have their ear phones on. What does it matter what music they are listening to. What ever makes them practice harder, I say "Listen To It".

    • Diane Midkiff-Bass MAIDEN, NC
      • about 1 year ago

      As an Alumni from Parkwood High School Class of 1990 and a former Cheerleader; I am standing with students on this archaic rule. Dance and music are part of the freedom of expression. Studies show in societies where both are celebrated keeps people in that society from drugs, acts of violence and brings a calming, proactive and productive learning society. To be frank it is one of the only reasons to come to any school sporting event just to see all the action set to music. Please come to your senses and stop the madness.

    • Kimberly DeVonde MONROE, NC
      • about 1 year ago

      There are so many bigger issues to address in our schools. This is an issue taking away valuable time that can be spent on more important matters.


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