Community still upset with Fiesta Flambeau Parade Association

SAISD sends letter informing parade officials students won't participate if stipulations remain in place

SAN ANTONIO – One day after the Fiesta Flambeau Parade Association reversed a controversial decision to sideline local high school spirit groups during this years parade, the group appeared to upset the people it was trying to appease.

Monday night, board members voted unanimously to allow the spirit groups to participate in the popular night parade with some stipulations.

The stipulations include creating a "spirit group section" at the end of the parade, separate from their school bands and limiting the groups to 50 students per school.

Those stipulations did not sit well with some community members and one local school district sent a letter telling parade officials their students will not participate if those stipulations remain in place.

San Antonio Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Sylvester Perez said in a letter to the Flambeau Parade association that "under the outlined parameters, SAISD student spirit groups will not be participating (bands will continue to do so)."

Perez said putting the spirit groups at the end of the night parade would create too many safety concerns.

"It's the end of a long day where people have been very festive and we think that we're not going to choose to subject our youngsters to that kind of an environment," Perez said. "Unfortunately, some of the stipulations that were cited are just not going to be workable for SAISD students."

Perez and other community members also raised concerns about how those spirit groups would be able to perform their normal routines if they can't march with their bands.

Joy Cavazos, who helped organize a protest on the steps of City Hall a week ago, said the association has just created a bigger mess.

"Just put those groups with the band so they can have a rhythm to jump, to cheer, to dance with," Cavazos said. "That's all we're asking. For them to come out with the band, with the rhythm, otherwise they're just going to be walking. It's going to be pretty sad."

League of United Latin American Citizens Executive Director Henry Rodriguez said his group will continue to fight for the students to be allowed to march with their school bands.

"We can appreciate the fine gesture on the part of the association but it is totally unacceptable," Rodriguez said. "We're going to make our case and we're going to ask any of the City Council (members) to step up and help in the name of our children."

Parade director Trina Guevara said the association has done all that it can at this point and they're moving forward and trying to remain positive.

She said so far two schools have confirmed they will take part in the spirit group section of the parade and she expects more schools will follow in the coming days.

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