By Ken Curtis
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Dothan High School sent letters to parents, telling them band members would be limited to one bottle of school provided water at Wolfpack football games and there are also no plans to feed those students.
Members of Wolfpack Booster Club, a group no longer recognized by Dothan City Schools, are livid because they won’t be allowed to provide refreshments as they have in the past.
“It’s unfathomable to me that the children must suffer because of the differences that are going on right now between boosters and Dothan City Schools,” Band Booster President Dedra Garry told WTVY.
The undated and unsigned letter sent to parents reads, “There will be no meal provided at the game and band students will not be allowed to go to the concession stand or eat in the stands. Please have students eat before they arrive at the game!!! Students will be provided a bottle of water after their halftime performance.”
“That’s ridiculous,” Garry said. Temperatures prior to game time for Friday’s season opener should be around 90 degrees. Students could spend six hours getting ready for their performance and breaking down afterwards, Garry estimates.
“We have always supplied all the water (band members) can drink and Powerade also,” Garry said. She promised that boosters would also provide food, if given the opportunity.
The relationship between Wolfpack boosters and school administration has deteriorated. Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Edwards essentially forced boosters to disband because of their refusal to adhere to guidelines the school board authorized.
Garry claims the biggest sticking point is a requirement that the boosters club be audited annually. She said members do not object with that requirement, other than the board’s insistence of an external audit. “That would cost us $8,000 to $10,000 a year and we can’t afford it.”
Boosters, she said, have made numerous attempts to discuss the matter with Edwards, who Garry said has not responded.
The relationship between boosters and DCS administration has become so dysfunctional that Dothan High Principal Bill Singleton recently attempted to have boosters arrested. He filed a theft report with police after boosters removed two concession trailers used for fund raising and other equipment from the DHS campus.
A subsequent criminal investigation conducted by the Dothan Police Department and the Houston County District Attorney’s Office revealed no crime had been committed. Boosters claim they have paperwork proving they own that equipment.
Despite Singleton’s attempt to file charges, and Edwards essentially shutting down the group, Garry said band boosters still want to help. Besides providing food and drink, they are offering to pay for cleaning costs for new uniforms, something she said students have been told the school can’t afford because weekly cleanings are necessary during the pandemic.
“If (school administrators can’t work with us) then send the uniforms to the cleaners and we’ll go by and pay the bill. (They) won’t even have to see us,” Garry said.
Edwards has threatened to file a lawsuit against Wolfpack Boosters Club to transfer ownership of their equipment to the school system. She also wants them to turn over all funds on hand.
DCS spokesperson Meghan Dorsey did not respond to an email seeking comment for this story.