The marching band of a historically black college in in Alabama will perform in the inaugural parade of President-elect Donald Trump on Jan. 20, reports CBS News.
Talladega College President Billy Hawkins announced the band's involvement on Thursday, prompting a barrage of criticism on campus and online.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee had announced the band's inclusion in its parade on Dec. 30, but Hawkins' statement was the first official word from the school.
Hawkins has heard the community's concerns, but said that the lessons that students can learn from the experience can never be replicated in the classroom.
“We respect and appreciate how our students and alumni feel about our participation in this parade,” Hawkins said in a statement Thursday.
Many people on social media are upset with the school's decision.
A petition on Change.org calling for the band to withdraw from the event has been signed by over 1,800 people.
“As an alumnus I respectfully request that Talladega College Band withdraw from any inaugural events for Donald Trump. In view of his behavior and comments I strongly do not want Talladega College to give the appearance of supporting him,” reads the petition's description.
Some people believe the school may have made the decision based off of publicity.
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