Confirmed victory
Petitioning Superintendent Dr. Mary Ellis and 11 others

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

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. 

Letter to
Superintendent Dr. Mary Ellis
UCPS Board of Education, At Large Christina Helms
UCPS Board of Education, At Large Mike Guzman
and 9 others
UCPS Board of Education, Vice Chairman Marce Savage
UCPS Board of Education, District 5 John Collins
UCPS Board of Education, District 4 Rick Pigg
UCPS Board of Education, District 2 Kevin Stewart
UCPS Board of Education, District 1 John Crowder
UCPS Board of Education, Chairman Richard Yercheck
Athletic Director Doug Jones
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Mike Webb
UCPS Board of Education, At Large Sherry Hodges
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.