School explains “He was immediately placed on administrative leave and has since resigned“
Members of Texas Southern University’s Ocean of Soul Marching Band are questioning why their head band director, Clarence Gibson, was suddenly asked to resign with no explanation, Houston’s Fox 26 reports.
The news comes just days before TSU’s homecoming next weekend.
“We all deserve answers, We all deserve some sort of reasoning why he’s no longer here,” said former TSU drum major, Giovandre St. Cyr.
Band members former and current said Gibson served as a mentor and a father-figure to all his students. They said the last several days without him haven’t been the same.
“It feels very different. It feels like mama no longer coming home or dad no longer coming home, It’s just the kids at home now and now we gotta make the house stand up,” St.Cyr said.
“Even though this is my last year of marching, it wouldn’t feel the same without him being here. Even once I come back as an alum, it wouldn’t be the same without him,” said TSU base drummer, Gianni Bailey.
“He just created a rapport with the students to where we can get to know him personally,” said adjunct professor and TSU band alum, Brittany Paul.
To reinstate his position, Paul created a petition that garnered hundreds of signatures within hours. The petition now has nearly 1200 signatures as of Thursday night.
The petition also suggests the reason why Gibson may no longer have his position at TSU.
“He was giving a speech to the band about making right choices and he shared a story about his past where he had gotten in trouble, It later had gotten dismissed. But he was using that anecdote to tell the students to make right choices and learn from my mistakes. From what I was told, someone went back to the administration and reported that story to them and that’s where we are right now,” Paul said.
In a statement, TSU said, “We were made aware of allegations concerning our interim band director. He was immediately placed on administrative leave and has since resigned. It is TSU’s policy to not comment on personnel matters. TSU is committed to both the privacy and the safety of our students, faculty and staff.”
FOX 26 also spoke to Gibson on the phone. He declined to comment on the matter for now, but said he’s currently out of town and is considering legal action.
Students are reportedly upset by the loss of their director and have created a petition to bring Professor Gibson back to the university that already has about 2,000 signatures.