Arab City Schools Superintendent firm in his decision, no more Dixie

ARAB, Ala. -- Arab High School students and parents are still frustrated after a recent decision not to allow the band to play the song Dixie at football games, but Arab City Schools Superintendent John Mullins is firm in his choice.

"Hopefully with time and forgiveness, those wounds will be healed," Mullins said.

The band has played Dixie after touchdowns for decades, but now the song won't be played at all.

"I feel like it's the right decision at the right time for the right reasons," Mullins said.

Mullins describes the song as quote "a song that unfortunately has been historically tied to people and events that are divisive".

"The fact that the school did not play Dixie in certain venues in the past is in way an acknowledgement that they knew it had some level of controversy," Mullins said.

Many in the community are having a hard time coping with the reason to do away with Dixie.

"I know racism, I know what it looks like and it's not a song it's not," said an Arab High School alumna and supporter of Dixie Amanda Paris.

"I think you can point at anything and twist it and make it something it's not," said Bo Shedd, another supporter.

However, Mullins says he's not changing his mind.

"Our plans are to move forward, our plans are to let our students at Arab High School select from a variety of songs, possibly even compose a song where we would have something unique to ourselves," Mullins said.

Superintendent Mullins told WHNT News 19 that the board of education never voted to officially name Dixie the fight song.

He knows that the community will miss hearing it under the Friday night lights and hopes the Arab High family will be able to forgive and understand this decision.

The community is also concerned about prayer before the football games. Superintendent Mullins says anyone is more than welcome to pray if they'd like to during school, or before a game, but the school can't direct anyone to pray.