The Brandon High School Band did not perform at halftime during the season-opening game Friday night. A statement from the Rankin County School District says a July federal court order is the reason the band was banned from Friday night’s halftime show.

The band had been slated to perform the hymn “How Great Thou Art.”

The district made the decision to ban the halftime show after learning the hymn was included in the performance.

“It bothers me because you look at the schools and all of the school shootings and all the bad things that are happening, and wonder why. It’s because we’re allowing evil to step in,” parent Kimberly Moore said.

Moore and dozens of parents and students sang the hymn during halftime Friday night in response to those who banned its performance.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves issued a court order on July 10, which said “defendants are permanently enjoined from including prayer, religious sermons or activities in any school sponsored event including but not limited to assemblies, graduations, award ceremonies, athletic events and any other school event. That means administrators, teachers and staff of the Rankin County School District may not participate in any religious activity, or solicit or encourage religious activities at school or while performing duties as a RCSD employee.”

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