Yates High School marching band members protest halftime show

Band members boycott show, say their uniforms are too old, worn

By Samantha Ptashkin - Reporter

HOUSTON - High school football just isn't the same without the marching band, but at Saturday night's game against Wheatley High School, eight members of the Yates High School marching band decided to march to the beat of their own drums.

Dressed in black, the band members boycotted the halftime show because they said their band uniforms are too old and worn.

"As I march I can smell the filth coming from the uniform, which makes me want to upchuck on the field," said band member Joshua Stewart.

Stewart and other band members estimate the uniforms are nearly 10 years old.

Before Saturday's game they gathered outside Delmar Stadium with community activist Deric Muhammad to protest the uniforms.

"It's like a real horrible smell whenever you open up the uniform, even after it has been washed," Stewart said.

Gary Monroe, a parent and booster club member, said the band expected to get new uniforms this school year, but that still hasn't happened. Monroe said the booster club could try to raise money, but it shouldn't be their responsibility to pay for the uniforms, rather the school should pay.

"If a Yates High School alumnus offered me $5 million right now, I would say keep your money," Monroe said.

For now most of the 31 band members have agreed to wear temporary uniforms, which look like Yates track suits. They played in Saturday's halftime show as the eight protesting band members watched from the bleachers.

Houston ISD said there is not enough money for new uniforms since the district allocated more than $30,000 to purchase new instruments and repair old instruments for the band.

As of Saturday night, Monroe said the band has yet to see those new instruments.

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