Students, Alumni fight to keep band director after Facebook post

By: Lorena Estrada Email
By: Lorena Estrada Email

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Students, alumni and friends came together Tuesday night to fight for Jefferson County High School's band director who they say is being forced out after a facebook comment.

They said he's impacted the lives of many.

"He's the only teacher here I'd protest for," said Amberlee Solomon, a band member and senior at Jefferson County High.

"I graduated in 1992, and I was in the band all four years," said Marshall Callin. "I owe the person I am today to the band because I had somewhere to go and I knew I was a part of. I owe that to the band. I owe that to Mr. Rodgers.

They group held signs, some of them saying "Keep Pete" and "Music Matters." Glenn Rodgers, who goes by Pete, has been the band director at Jefferson County High School for more than 20 years, but his job may now be on the line after some say he left an "inappropriate" comment on a student's Facebook page regarding another female teacher.

"It's his personal life. He should be able to say what he wants," said Shelby Jasper, a band member and senior at the high school.

"I think it's crazy. I don't think he should lose his job over this. I can't see the band without him," said Tiffany Huff, a band member and junior at the school.

Students said the band just wouldn't be the same without him. Some of them told Volunteer TV that if he was forced to leave, they will quit.

"I've already talked to the entire drumline," Jasper said. "The entire band said that if he quites the rest of the band will go with him."

The band received sweepstakes placing number one at the South Doyle Competition earlier in the school year. And many said they owe it to Mr. Rodgers.

"Without him we wouldn't have gotten that," Jasper said.

Through petitions and making their voices heard, the group hopes they'll be able to "Keep Pete" at Jefferson County High for many more years to come.

"We're all hoping we can get through to some people and make an impact as big as the impact that he's made in our lives," Solomon said.

"I hope the school board listens to reason and decides he's a vital aspect to the band," Jasper said.

Volunteer TV contacted the Director of Jefferson County Schools but he was unavailable to comment.

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