Parents, students upset after school district cancels annual chorus concert

Author: Nicole Papageorge
Published: Updated:

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Barron Collier High School students are claiming their chorus is being silenced. The school’s chorus will not have the annual fall performance because it was supposed to be a in church.

The school district decided against scheduling the concert because they were afraid of a lawsuit by
the ACLU.

However, students and parents say they’re upset they won’t hear the beautiful music.

More than 300 students sing in the high school chorus.

The angelic voices once heard echoing inside the grand auditorium at the Mooring’s Presbyterian Church will not be heard this year.

“It’s sad that we’re not allowed to sing at the church anymore,” said sophomore Cristina Campero.

Campero says students practiced non-stop for their concert Tuesday night when it was suddenly cancelled.

Students and parents say the church has perfect acoustics, is very inexpensive and can accommodate the large crowd that comes to watch the performance.

“It’s very sad to hear that Barron Collier does not support the program that in my opinion is one of the best programs that they have,” said Cristina’s father Hernan Campero.

The school district tells WINK News the concert was never approved. They say award-winning teacher and choral director Todd Peterson never turned in the appropriate paperwork.

District spokesman Greg Turchetta says they told Peterson they needed to vary the venue he uses after threats of a lawsuit from some parents and the ACLU.

“The ACLU contacted us and said there’s a First Amendment issue here.”

Students at Barron Collier say the chorus concert was an important topic of discussion Wednesday.

“It was all kinda tense and you could tell there was tension in the air between the administration and the students, it’s a house divided pretty much,” said student Ian Anderson.

The district says they’ll reschedule the concert once they find a new venue.

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