John Marshall homecoming game rescheduled; dance to get new date

John Marshall homecoming game rescheduled; dance to get new date
John Marshall High School

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Students and parents were outraged Thursday evening when school leaders announced Friday's homecoming game and Saturday's dance were canceled due to safety concerns.

Parents began protesting that decision, and it got results within hours.

The game was scheduled to happen at night, but recent violence concerned school leaders. Instead of canceling it, the game against Thomas Jefferson will take place at 4 p.m. Friday.

School officials announced Friday afternoon that the dance will be rescheduled, but a date and time have not been finalized.

"We want all of our students, staff, and guests to be safe as well as have an opportunity to fully enjoy the homecoming festivities. It is our belief that the changes to the homecoming activities over the past couple of days allows us to achieve this. A new date for the dance will be shared as soon as a final decision has been made," Richmond Public Schools said in a statement.

Before the changes were announcement, students were questioning the changes.

"It's a dance. Why can't we have our dance?" asked Kenya Richardson.

After all, it's the moment she has waited for.

"Wouldn't you want to participate in your last school homecoming?" the high school senior asked.

The news came suddenly while football players were practicing Thursday afternoon.

"Our coach told us to come inside. He had something to tell us. It was bad news," said Edward Boisseau.

Homecoming at John Marshall would be canceled due to "recent events." Although the district didn't elaborate, a John Marshall student survived being shot in Gilpin Court Wednesday. Those close to her say she wasn't the intended target.

Also Wednesday, a school bus was shot up in Whitcomb Court carrying students from Armstrong High. Last month, RPS rescheduled Armstrong's homecoming game after consulting with police.

"I know safety is an issue, but the problem is we continue to run from the problems, and our kids lose every single time," said school volunteer Kevin Starlings. "We don't think about those who are doing good, those that are involved, those that really depend on these type of programs, then we take away from them at the same time."

After making the decision to cancel both John Marshall's dance and football game, leaders came back and said the game will go on, but during the day.

"I think it's great," Starlings said after getting the news. "It was all about having the game, regardless of what day it was or time it was. It was just having the celebration."

"This my last game of the season, so it really meant a lot to me," Boisseau said.

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