I have 2 children in marching band in high school. They have a football game this Friday night and a contest the following morning. The band director has decided that it is mandatory that the kids go to school Friday morning (pep rally day, so they will get there at 6:30 am, attend school, go straight to band after school and on to football game, then return to the school- where he wants them to sleep on the floor of the gym so they will be there for the next morning to go to the contest. He said the parent chaperones will make sure all the kids take showers. I have a few issues with this. One- my kids don't feel comfortable using the restroom and showering in public places. They took marching band instead of PE so they wouldn't have to worry about that. Second- the parent chaperones have not had background checks. Call me crazy, but I do not trust people. He is doing this because he says he wants to make sure the kids are there on time. But...the kids are going to be dragging exhausted because 150 kids aren't going to be quiet and sleep on the gym floor. Can he legally force them to do that?
The band director most certainly has exceeded his authority. He cannot require that minors be kept away from home, overnight, without the parents’ written permission.
Here’s what I would do:
I would call the school principal. I am unaware of whether or not the principal knows of the band director’s requirement. In either case indicate to the principal that you find this to be outrageous. Suggest to the principle that the band director be immediately instructed to rescind that requirement. State that you are fully prepared to have your children at the school on Saturday morning at a reasonable hour in preparation for the contest. Indicate that this usurpation of parental control is totally unacceptable. Indicate that you consider this to be such an egregious interference in parental control that you are prepared to notify members of the school board and if necessary the Media. (Trust me when I tell you that the last thing in the world that this principal wants is a storm of negative publicity). When you speak to the principal be forceful but not rude.
Now, ideally, you know some parents of other members of the band and should first call them and get their input and agreement so that when the principal is contacted you can say you are speaking for yourself and other parents. But even if you do this alone you are doing the right thing. Ask the principal not to disclose your name (or the names of any other parents that might be involved, if applicable) to the band director.
I assure you that if you follow this advice, your children will be sleeping at home on Friday night.