Knoxville parent upset his sons aren't allowed to play in the ma

Knoxville parent upset his sons aren't allowed to play in the marching band

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A Knoxville parent is upset because his sons aren't being allowed in the marching band. A Knoxville parent is upset because his sons aren't being allowed in the marching band.
"If a child wants to excel and participate in an extracurricular activity that they've been doing for four and three years, why not let them continue," said Chris Akers. "If a child wants to excel and participate in an extracurricular activity that they've been doing for four and three years, why not let them continue," said Chris Akers.
"Our stance has been because our schools are so different and their schedules are so different it's very difficult to make that happen,"Clifford  Davis said. "Our stance has been because our schools are so different and their schedules are so different it's very difficult to make that happen,"Clifford Davis said.
By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter


KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knoxville parent is upset because his sons aren't being allowed in the marching band.

Chris Akers transferred his two sons to L&N STEM Academy from Central High School. Both are in the Knox County Schools district. He called 6 News wanting to know why, since other students at the STEM Academy can take part in their former school bands.

School officials said once students transfer schools, they aren't allowed to join any of their former school's extracurricular activities, even if their new school doesn't offer it. They said parents are told about this before they decide to transfer.

6 News learned there are several STEM Academy students who are still being allowed to play in the Fulton High School band. The district said this was a mistake by Fulton officials, and after grandfathering those students in, they're stopping other students from doing this.

"Basically all my friends are in the marching band," said high school freshman Chris Akers.

He came to Central High School Thursday night to watch the marching band practice.

"I could stand and talk all day about what's happened at band. Band is the best class ever," Akers said.

He was looking forward to his first year with the marching band, but he said he found out this week he won't be able to join.

"It just doesn't make sense, what harm would it actually do to let us in?"

Chris's dad, also named Chris Akers, said when he enrolled his two sons in the STEM Academy he didn't think it would be a problem for them to continue playing with Central's marching band since the academy doesn't have one.

"If a child wants to excel and participate in an extracurricular activity that they've been doing for four and three years, why not let them continue?"

We took these concerns to Clifford Davis with Knox County Schools. He said the district won't allow this mainly because of scheduling reasons, but he also said they want students to be fully committed to their new schools.

"Our stance has been because our schools are so different and their schedules are so different it's very difficult to make that happen," Davis said.

But Akers said his sons would only miss about 10 minutes of practice.

"By not being able to participate in marching band it does take away some collegiate opportunity," Akers said.

Akers started this petition to allow his sons to be in the marching band, and continuing going to the STEM Academy. Davis said they will not change their decision.

We also checked with other districts to see how they would handle this. School officials in Blount and Anderson Counties said they would likely allow students to participate in another school's activities, if that activity is not offered at their school.


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