The problems with New Haven's Freddie Fixer parade continue. High school bands will not be creating music in the streets during the May 16 event because of concerns about violence.
"The decision to keep New Haven Public School bands out of the Freddie Fixer Parade was not a decision that came from NHPS Central Office. This decision came from individual band leaders at the schools, their principals and parents of students in the bands," Michelle Wade, spokeswoman for New Haven Public Schools, said in an e-mail. "Parents vehemently expressed their discomfort and concern with their students participating in this event."
“They gave no clear explanation, and I think it’s a slap in the face of Dr. Fixer, who was involved with kids,” Maurice W. Smith, president of this year’s Freddie Fixer Parade, told the New Haven Register.
Smith has appealed to Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo and the school system’s director of music for an explanation beyond the “security concerns” that Smith said Maust gave him on the telephone when he asked for bands to take part in the event.
Smith said the school bands were allowed to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, where there were many arrests for disorderly conduct, and he doesn’t see why they are banned from the Fixer parade.
Wade's e-mail said the schools and the school leaders are empowered to make those decisions themselves in the best interests of their students.
The parade was canceled in 2008 when organizers expressed concerns about violence in the wake of several shootings during the weeks before the event.