ADAMS TWP — The school board discussed separating the student and band sections during football games following a request Sept. 10 by a parent.
Mars Area band parent Lisa Suppo approached the school board to ask if the student and band sections in the football stadium stands could be separated.
“When the band is playing, none of our fans can hear them,” Suppo said. “Because (the student section is) a barrier.”
According to Suppo, students in the student section stand the entire game and make significant noise with megaphones and other instruments. Suppo said people have suggested that the band move, but the ramp in that section allows for easy transportation of equipment.
Suppo asked if the board would consider moving the student section to the other side of the stands — closest to the concessions.
“I don't know if there's an easier solution, so that everybody can kind of be heard by everybody,” Suppo said. “Both groups are kind of loud. But then at least people who are wanting to hear the band from their seats will have a chance to maybe hear them.”
Board member Christine Valenta argued the best place for the band is next to students. She told Suppo the decision to arrange the stands that way was made years ago.
“If you were here 10 years ago, you would know that the marching band used to stand in the end zone,” Valenta said. “They were never even included in the stands.”
“We're excited we're in the stands,” Suppo said.
Valenta told Suppo a “general effort was made” to have room in the stands for the band. Officials at the time thought putting the band next to the student section was the best thing to do.
“In an effort to build camaraderie,” Valenta said. “They're together for a reason. They need to learn to work together. It is best for them to work together.”
Suppo said she understood Valenta's point of view, but that those in the student section purposefully make their own noise when the band starts to play.
“I'm well aware of that,” Valenta said. “But that's an issue for the district to take care of.”
Suppo suggested that Superintendent Wes Shipley could tell students in the section to sit down when they block the band.
Valenta suggested that the band and students could work things out themselves.
“We would love that,” Suppo said.
“That would be the mature thing to do,” Valenta agreed.
“If someone could talk to the students and get their involvement, that would be great,” Suppo said.
The board did not make any decisions regarding the placement of the student and band sections.