Local News

Cumberland County Band Class is Incomplete without a Teacher

Posted October 21, 1999

— Band classes have hit a flat note for students atWestover Middle School. Two months into the semester, the Cumberland County school does not have a band teacher. Parents are angry, the students cannot play, and now they will not get a grade.

Charity Buchanan's parents are furious. They just bought her a $2,000 French horn. Buchanan can barely play the instrument, but it is not her fault. Westover Middle School's band class has no teacher, and students are learning little about music.

"We do work sheets, we watch movies. People talk, we have to write sentences and essays," says Charity Buchanan.

"It just frustrates me that it just kept dragging on," says Derrick Buchanan. "A week turned into two, turned into three, turned in to four, turned in to the whole semester."

School administrators say they aggressively advertised for the position, and recently made a hire which was announced in a note sent home to parents.

The note also states students will get an incomplete band grade for the first quarter of school due to the teacher situation.

"If it was permissible to move her out of that district and into another school, she'd start Monday," says Buchanan.

"It makes me mad because I want to play the French horn and be in a marching band whenever I get to high school," says Charity. "Now I don't have a band teacher to teach me the right notes, and [tell me] if I'm playing right or playing wrong."

At this point, the Buchanan's just hope the new hire works out.

The school promises to have a new band teacher on Monday. As far as the incomplete grade is concerned, teachers say whatever grade band students receive during the second quarter will replace their first quarter grade.

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