The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

BruCrew flour throwing upsets band


The sky Friday, Oct. 13 was a perfect pink in the middle of the RBHS football game. Dark, fluffy clouds absorbed purple light and when the it got dark enough, the stadium lights came on, illuminating the football team as it took another win. The sky, however, was not only colored by the sun, but also the flour thrown into the air to signal the beginning of second quarter, causing damage to the band which would result in the resituating the band into the end-zone for future game.
As the powder fell, turning the sky white, the faces of the voluntary pep band fell with it. When sophomore band member Meredith Farmer started noticing little spurts of flour in the air, she became nervous for what the actions might escalate to.
“Before it happened, [BruCrew] was being totally respectful and pumping up everyone,” Farmer said. “Once they brought out the flour we all realized that it could have very negative consequences.”
When the band registered what could happen if the flour made its way to them, pep band director Patrick Sullivan wrote “guard your instruments” on his whiteboard. Unfortunately, his warning wasn’t enough.
“We asked [BruCrew] to stop [throwing flour], but they just yelled at us and then they all threw flour at once,” Farmer said. “We all huddled together and turned our backs towards the flour cloud that was coming our way.”
As a result of the flour, the drums had to be completely taken apart by the players in order for the drum sound to not be tampered with. Most of the instruments, however, ended up being okay though a couple of woodwinds couldn’t play because flour was stuck to their reeds, inside their instruments and on the pads, Farmer said.
Band director Steve Mathews said in his address to the band on the following Tuesday morning that he had contact about the incident with principal Dr. Jennifer Rukstad. Rukstad was very financially supportive of what happened, and was willing to fund instrument repair, Mathews said.
“There’s been ongoing contact going on between us and the administration and will continue to be,” Mathews said to the band Tuesday morning. “As a leader I’m trying to keep everybody at a state of ‘Let’s work through all of this.’”
When the pep band went inside to clean immediately after, however, BruCrew stayed in the bleachers, cheering on the football team. Senior Henry Wilson and BruCrew leader said it would have been a nice gesture to help out the band members, but no one from BruCrew would know the first thing about salvaging an instrument.
“During the aftermath I looked to the band and saw upset faces,” Wilson said. “I then went to the band directors, and they explained they would not be able to play until they cleaned off the instruments. I felt an understanding for why they were upset.”
After talking to the instructors and apologizing, Wilson said the game continued as normal. BruCrew’s intentions with the flour was not to harm but to carry on a RBHS white-out theme tradition, last used two years ago.
“Nothing BruCrew has done thus far, at least as a unified group, has been aimed at hurting or offending anyone,” Wilson said. “I’ve gotten a lot of thanks from players this year because student support hasn’t been there in the past, and we’ve somehow gotten energy back, and they appreciate it so much. That’s really why the band, parents and students are there.”
Although administration gave them the go ahead before the game began, as long as they cleaned up afterward, Wilson said there will be no more throwing flour into the air. Wilson hopes this event won’t discourage the band from performing at football games because their music gets the players and BruCrew as a section excited. Farmer plans to come back, especially since the band will be moved into the end zone to prevent more mishaps until further notice.
“Despite what happened last Friday, the team still deserves to have us there cheering for them,” Farmer said. “We will be back to have fun and support the team in the rest of their games.”

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  • R

    Rachael EricksonNov 15, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    I really feel like, between this incident and the cultural appropriation thing that happened earlier in the year, BruCrew should have some sort of higher-level administrative check to run their activity ideas through. They have been doing a great job at pumping up the crowd though, the games this year have been a blast!

  • B

    Bailey StoverNov 15, 2017 at 11:20 am

    I am glad to see both sides being represented on this issue, it creates a broader picture of what happened instead of attacking or defending one side over the other. I am disappointed that BruCrew didn’t consider the ramifications of their actions, but I understand that students who have never played an instrument before would not understand the fear throwing flower could cause. I am proud of our staff and administration for how they have handled the situation, I think it sets a good precedent for the future.