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WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — A high school band director is playing a sad song. Chance Bryant was fired Friday from his job at Whiteville High School.

Administrators will not say why Bryant was let go, but Whiteville City Schools Superintendent Tom Hager said rumors around town about the dismissal are false.

“You ask whether or not it involves inappropriate behavior with a student? It does not,” Hager said. “There is a process that is in place right now. It has not been completed, and until it’s totally completed, there’s not a lot that can be said about it.”

Hager said he believes the high school administration took the right action to keep the students safe. They hope to have the situation cleared up soon.

Comment on this Story

  • WHS Parent

    I find it interesting that this post was written by a “VARISTY CHEERLEADER” on a school day, during school hours. Furthermore, if Ms. Deans is such a wonderful leader of her squad, I would think that she would be very disappointed to see the language being used by a member of her squad. This is part of the problem. The students at WHS are out of control. Language such as “wtf” should not be used by a person who is suppose to be a representative of WHS. The cheering squad is comprised of Ms. Dean’s hand-picked favorites and as you can see by the language, these cheerleaders do not portray the image that WHS wishes to have publicized. WHS has a long history of non-biased activity. I think that a lot of things at WHS need to be investigated. I have been to WHS several times this year about unfair practices including various members of the faculty for different reasons. This if one of the very reasons that Whiteville City Schools is loosing stuents. Most of the teachers at WHS just look at their position as a “JOB” and they are just going through the motions waiting on retirement. There are not many teachers left that actually care about the student, and the ones that do are penelized for it. If there was a situation going on, then it have been addressed by the parents especially if there were as many instances as the rumors suggest there were. WHS is all about who you are and who you know. Special attention is given to certain students because of who their parents are, what they represent or how much money they give. This whole thing may have been nothing more than Mr. Bryant trying to buck the system and acutally make someone work for what they wanted in stead of handing it to them. Nobody will ever know the real reason behind these rumors because WHS will do what they always do, “SWEEP IT UNDER THE RUG”!!! The community needs to be more involved with all aspects of WHS and stop letting them get by with “Just letting our kids get by.”

  • Flocka

    That is the dumbest thing i have ever heard WHS is a lot more than the band

  • Guest

    How did this turn into a competition between Butler and Bryant? I’m afraid that, in your eagerness to speak, you forgot to think and remember what the central issue is. Butler and Bryant are two very different people with different teaching styles and personalities. To compare them is ridiculous.



  • doratheexplorRER

    im going to need you to use your real name instead of being anoynymous. thanks.

  • MHW.

    I Don’t Understand Whyy You Negative Insecure No-Life Parents Got Up Here Talking About Mr.Bryant When You Allowed Your Child To Be Apart Of His Band. If The Band Was So Sloppy And Horrible Then You Should Have Taken Your Child Out . The Band Is Going Downhill And For Parents To Be Happy With That Is Just A Shame. The Band Is All Whiteville High School Has Got Besides Sports. The Band Was The Best When Mr.Butler Was Here But That Was A Long Time Ago..!! The Band Got BETTER When CHANCE JEROME BRYANT Stepped Inn Ann Now We Playing Funeral Music. . !!! Oh Yeahh …. LEGGO.!!!

  • Ishyna McCullum


  • The LEGGO mama!

    if you know nothing about this situation PLEASE don’t comment. and if your soooo concerted on the LEGGO not being a word, grow up and become my English teacher we could use you! =)

  • A Band Mother

    “Sad & Sloppy” fits YOU just perfectly! “since of class” Good grief where did you get your diploma from?

    You say that you’ve heard these rumors for years yet never ONCE addressed them and still allowed your child to participate in band? If you even thought for a skinny minute that the rumors were true what does that say about you? Sounds like more gossip & sensationalism to me!

    Obviously you know NOTHING about Mr. Bryant and VERY LITTLE about the band members!

    Back up 10 yards and punt again! You are way out of line! Next time try to bring a “SENSE OF CLASS” when you chime in!

  • Former Band Student

    Mr. Bryant might have had his days where he was in one of those moods every teacher gets in where they just wanna ring everyones neck. but if you look at what kind of school he is teaching at and what kind of students he is teaching you will understand. WHS has some of the most disrespectful students not all are but there is a whole hand full of them. Yall say Butler was a better band director but NOT TRUE everyone in band this year wants bryant back because they dont like the way they are being treated by WC BUTLER he is very disrespectful and raises his voice for no reason.! ive been told by band students that they are scared to ask him for help because he always yells at them. When Mr. Bryant was there they sure didnt have that problem he was willing to stay after school and off hours helping any student in need of help. Also when butler was band director did he take the students to play at Disney World, Washington etc.. or did the band get asked to go to places and play like Washington and New York NOOOO they didnt.! Chance Bryant turned that band into something it had never been.! yeahhh the band was bigger when WC was director way back when and now its smaller but look how much society has changed kids just dont care to participate in things such as band and not only band but sports have gone down also. So I say Chance Bryant needs to be brought back so these students can continue on with what they loved because there is atleast 30 students who want to quit now and the band is what makes WHS look good and WHS needs all the help it can get and it wont go anywhere with out Bryant just sayin’… yall need to think about the students instead of what yall think is best for the school PEOPLE MAKE MISTAKES and they deff. learn by them. so im pretty sure he has learned his lesson. Talk to students and see what they want and what they know is best for them… NOT the school board or parents because they have no clue what goes on in these teens heads and what they thinks best!

  • Guest

    To everyone that keeps commenting on this little petty story has no life. I understand that you want to make a argument for Mr. Bryant, but there is nothing you can do about it. And for the parent that keeps going back and forth, you need to grow up and get a life and worry about your kids rather then argue on the net thanks and good bye hope all of you idiots take me advice and leave this alone. And whoever keeps using LEGGO, NEWSFLASH that is not a word.

  • doratheexploRER

    whiteville high took pride in it’s band being the most spirited and not to mention the biggest and best band around here. and if we suck so band why were we the ONLY band from north carolina chosen to represent the state in washington ?? which by the way we wont be participating in because of all this bull. ALL i can say right now is SMDH at all this !! LEGO YALL LEGO !

  • A Varsity Cheerleader

    You know what I’m getting really tired of all of this non-sense about Mr. Bryant He’s probably the most dedicated teacher at WHS other than Mrs. Deans. It’s just the mentality of this place & don’t get it twisted it’s all of COLUMBUS BOGUS COUNTY always spreading rumors; they didn’t fire him because he did it but because of “BAD PLUBLICITY ” wtf
    • -and the band is the best band around here if you don’t like it you try to instruct like 100 student
    • This is not effecting just the band its effecting the cheerleading team, and the school
    And you annoying parents need to get a life do you know how many registered sex offenders live amongst you & your children in this county is riddled with them if you afraid of your children’s quote on quote safety you need to rap them in bubble rap and put them in a private school on Mars –
    -just sayn

  • Eric, Y’allll

    People will surprise you. I’m sure the friends and family of the man responsible for the shooting of Columbine, knew him well and trusted that he would never do anything like that. Or the close ones to Ted Bundy. You never know what people will do. So shut up.

  • Guest

    Although you seem to think you have the omniscience to criticize Mr. Bryant’s so-called “incompetence,” sadly, you do NOT. It has always been placed in the the students hands whether or not we excel. No one could help the fact that the students could care less about how they were making the band look. If you want to complain about how the students behaved, maybe you should complain to the people who teach their children to behave like imbeciles — the parents. You have no right to accuse Mr. Bryant of something only the PARENTS could’ve controlled. It’s completely invalid to say that Mr. Bryant should’ve done a better job.

  • Jourdan Priest

    I think that we need to stop with this pettiness people seem to enjoy in this little “blame game” we have going. No one is to blame but the Whiteville administration. From what I’ve come to grasp, they were waiting for some rumor to pop up and give the reason to fire Mr. Bryant. Maybe because he, unlike so many other teachers, actually cared about the students’ well-being. He was outspoken, kind, and unafraid to do what he felt was best for the band. He would’ve never jeopardized such an outstanding program. Throwing stones gets us nowhere.

  • LilBee

    So let me see, since your so educated within music and you have your bachelor’s degree, you come to WHS and apply to be band director! Since you have the audacity to say we were oh so sloppy. If the band performances were so cringing than you have your opinion, but from my understanding at home football games the supporters all screamed and stood up. Just so you know, what most people think is easy it really isn’t, you try playing a instrument, marching perfectly, and not missing anything. Exactly no humanly person can do that, so you should’ve kept that comment to yourself!!

    WORD UP!!

  • Guest

    I agree with the above parent that the band is not what it once was. I remember when the band had 181 members and they were awesome. Much better than recent years. This was when Butler was director. Bryant has been unable to control the slackers in the band and it has caused the band to suffer. Hopefully we will get a new director that will be able to straighten things out. For the kids that can’t follow the rules then get them out of band. As for the music the band has played that is the one thing that has been great.

  • Guest

    I will agree that WHS is not nearly the school it once was. Back when I graduated many years ago we were proud to have graduated from there. The band is one of the last things we can be proud of at WHS and now a teacher has ruined it. As far as the songs our band has played they have been GREAT!! We have a good band, but I have seen the band when instead of being good they were GREAT. Maybe we will finally get that. Out with the old and in with the new. The really good students that want the band will stick with it. The quitters will quit. Just because this has happened doesn’t mean we can’t have a great band. There are alot of band members that need to quit. Only time will tell.

  • Guest

    For the two that commented on my post above. I am not a high school student. I am an adult and parent to a couple of past band students and I stand by what I posted. Suck it up. If you are good in band and love it then don’t let anything get in your way. One day when you all grow up and have children in school you will look at things totally different. This behavior has been going on for a number of years now. Not all of the students are aware of the goings on.

  • Guest

    I believe that the problem was not just Mr. Bryant. The kids the past several years have been very difficult to deal with and I believe he handled them to the best of his ability. The band marched pretty darn good the past years I have been in it and they still do. These kids are not professional but they still do a great job. The show was terrific and I think the best we have done the past years I have been in the band. In my opinion not all of this is Mr. Bryant’s fault. Half of it was the incompetent students who act like immature brats and refuse to listen to athority. So pretty much Mr. Bryant had to be a teacher, role modle, and parent for the kids. Just remember it takes alot to deal with 125 kid at once and im pretty sure you could have not done any better..

  • Guest

    You weren’t in that band and you do not know how hard Mr.Bryant pushed his students to do better. Thanks to Mr.Bryant many students have learned to play new instruments and even those who were never taught to read music now can. He expanded the horizons of the band and brought national recognition to them.

  • Briana Jamison

    So you think that you have the audacity to say that the band was sloppy? I think not. Have you been to college for music education, do you have your degree within music, can you play the Bb Scale? Has your answer been no to these previous questions? If so, you don’t have anything opinion to state about the subject. If your so good at picking at the faults of the band, you stand in front of 120 band members and tell us what to do. Can’t do that can you, exactly so stop picking the faults and encourage your child within band and leave it be.

  • Briana Jamison

    So they said that students were interrogated during this investigation, obviously not a very good diverse of people. Mr. Bryant was a fatherly figure to many students in band, maybe to those who never knew there father, or someone that never had a good relationship with theirs. Although I will be the first to say he wasn’t the type of person to make everything absolutely correct, but who is like that anyways. If Whiteville High School has made this decision saying this is better for the students, they are utterly wrong. The only programs that Whiteville is excelling in is Band and Athletic, but the odds now, we are looking and setting up for total destruction within a school. What high school football game do you go to and not hear a band? Well by the decision of the Board, Whiteville High School will be the first. The Band Parent complains about watching the band was cringing. If this parent knows so much about band they would understand that no one can perfectly walk a straight line. The Band Parent also said that the choice of music was horrible, well how about your child playing a song called “A One Man Show” be horrible. As WWAY said “a sad song is being played”, a sad song indeed, a song that cries out from the hearts of band members saying that we loved Mr. Bryant, yes indeed in which that is sad. Mr. Bryant was a man of his word one that said what he thought and told you bluntly to your face what he believed. Furthermore, WWAY was looking for a story that they thought would be juicy and full of drama, well they now have a list full of complaints. So, I say to my fellow Whiteville High School peers, that this is just a turing point to an abomination of ones high school memories.

  • Guest

    I have been at whiteville high school for 4 years and Mr.Bryant was the BEST teacher i had came across and i would trade anything to have him back…yea mr. butler is a good band teacher but is just too serious about certain LITTLE things and that is very petty of him. And as for the students who quite, they didn’t quite because of Mr.Butler is the teacher now they had other classes to have to help them past high school and some of those students were the BEST players in band and DID NOT slack off. And for the right reasons i hope Mr.Butler doesn’t be here very long.

  • doratheexploRER

    AYE LEGO ! all whiteville has is the band and sports ! yall gona take that away ?

  • ACP.

    to reply to your post, if you are even a student you would understand that Mr. Bryant was a role model. And as I can recall students apart of the Whiteville High Marching Band were no longer allowed to be removed from band because if that was the case, with me being a VERY talented clarinet player i will take the first out, and show me a teacher at Whiteville that’s been a TRUE role model and i’ll prove you wrong! Everyone makes mistakes but when you can’t find any facts on the situation… now that’s just stupid! leave it to Whiteville to disappoint their student yet again…. CONGRATS!!!!

  • Guest

    maybe you should be the new band teacher. as you can see the problem in places us as a band have gotten medals for(with Mr. Bryant.) …. This sounds like a job for you! =)


  • JTG

    As You Can See People .. When You Took Away The Only Father Figure Some People Did Have, You Brought On Rebellion. Mention My Name On The News && Quote Me ” Without Chance Bryant, Whiteville High Will Fall “.

  • Ishyna McCullum

    First of all Bryant was the best band teacher to the people that new him for the years they been there. Not everyone in the band knows Butler and right now we don’t think he is the best because we never had him as a band teacher. Yes, he was the best band director when he was one, but the students now believe that Bryant is the best and we will miss him and even though Butler didn’t have anything to do with it, since he is our band teacher for now we will be angry and some of us will take our anger out on him. Second, someone needs to tell the band something since we are or were his students. We are confused and there are questions that we need answers to and there isn’t a soul telling us anything and that is what makes it very disappointing. All i have to say is this is my opinion and i’m going to stick to it until i hear something i agree with.


    Come on guys! I loved Mr. Bryant and sorry to see him go. But this story was pointless. It wasn’t even a story. People get fired all the time and it doesn’t hit the news. WWAY was hoping to get a juicy story like that other band director. We all know who set Mr. Bryant up. Shame on her! We should be mad at her not the administration. Good thing we won’t have to put up with her next year!

  • AM

    I went to Whiteville High School and was in band under the direction of Mr. Bryant. Not once in my four years there was there evidence to suggest he was anything other than I wonderful teacher. He taught me more than any teach at WHS. He cared about his students but not in an inappropriate way. He was always there for them no matter what it was. He will be truly missed. It is unfair that the people at Whiteville City Schools have taken the best thing about WHS.

  • Scarlett E.

    If the rumors and accusations are “false” then why is there a need for Mr. Bryant to be fired!? Br. Bryant is THE best teacher at WHS and he has put so much of his time into the band. It is because of Mr. Bryant that the Whiteville High School Band has came as far as it has. They had so many great things coming for them in the next few years and this action that the administration has taken is going to jeopardize it all! In the last couple of years, WHS has had so many things happen to bring the school down, and the band was the one thing that the high school still had that was going strong. Without Mr. Bryant, the band will suffer. Most of the students will more than likely quit band, and for most of them band is a huge part of their life. The students in the band are like a family to Mr. Bryant. So tell me how this action is keeping the students SAFE when everyone knows that he would not do ANYTHING to hurt any one of his students. I was once a member of the band at WHS and when I think back on my high school memories, they are all from times spent with the band and Mr. Bryant. I can’t imagine band without Mr. Bryant, and I really hate it for the students who are in band now to have to find out what it will be like without him. Now when I think back on all of my GOOD high school memories, they are going to be replaced with SADNESS because of the way that Mr. Bryant has been treated.

    This has all started out because of some stupid rumor that shouldn’t have been thought true in the first place! Whoever decided to start this cruel rumor should be punished, but don’t make Mr. Bryant suffer for something that isn’t even true.

  • Band Parent

    Whiteville High School’s band has gotten sloppy! Since the story said it wasn’t for the rumors we have all heard for years, it might just be that Mr. Bryant was fired for just being incompetent. Perhaps enough was enough.

    Watching the band march in parades this year made me cringe! Central Middle School students were instep better than the high school! At football games band students would run around looking sloppy there as well! Uniforms half on, different color socks..even white! Once again, no one really in step. Musically the band was the roughest I have ever seen.

    Whiteville High School needs to bring back the discipline and dignity of the band before Mr. Bryant took over. I hope the next band director imparts a since of class that has been missing from the program.

    While I am glad my son has been able to participate in the band program, I have been disappointed at the quality of music education he has received. Next year will be his senior year. I hope he has a better role model, and a quality instructor.

  • aquila_Armstrong-Mccutche

    man whs will suck and Fall without Mr.Bryant he sits with you and teach step by step he changed my playing skills from 0 to good and he is great don’t no one want to play for Mr.Butler but i respect you though im just saying we nothing without HIM!

  • Guest

    In my opinion I think Mr. Bryant should not have gotten fired! Why would it matter if he did anything, he was always there for the band when we needed him. He was an awesome band director and no one will be able to take his place. Band isn’t the same without him. Whs is losing a great staff member. Our band was great with him there, he made band funn not boring!

  • Meshalanna Coleman

    All I Got To Say Is Somebody Lying ! Mr. Bryant Is The Best Teacher Whiteville High Had And You Fire Him?? Because Of Rumors? All His Students Love Him And We’re Going To Miss Him So Much. I Want Mr. Bryant Back !

  • Andrea Davis

    All the rumors and accusations mean absolutely nothing to the band students at whiteville high. As long as we had Mr. Bryant and we was doing what we needed to do to represent our school we didn’t care about the rumors.It’s wasn’t exactly fair to the band for the school board to make Mr. Bryant leave right when the new semester started, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. The investigation could have waited until the end of the year. Keep the students safe??? Whiteville High School students have a mind of their own. Mr. Bryant will always be the BEST BAND DIRECTOR IN COLUMBUS COUNTY. #Hear.Us.Out

  • Guest

    NO ONE NEEDED PROTECTING. The whole case was brought forth on the unsubstancial evidence of SLANDER. Probably started by a jealous teenager who started something that they didn’t think would get so rediculously blown out of proportion. Chance didn’t do anything wrong, and the only reason why he’s “playing a sad song” as you’ve most delightfully said, is the fact the the beaurocracy of the Whiteville City School board decided to save face and go along with popular belief before making their own asertations and deductions on the matter. Chance Bryant was a parental figure in the eyes of most of his students, and his class a getaway during the school day. It was the one class you could gurantee any student would look forward to. Of course, he had individuals, collegues, who disliked this fact and the fact that he was not afraid to speak his mind or stand up for himself and his students. He was a phenominal teacher, and an even more amazing band director, and to throw away that amount of progress over something that was started by word of mouth, is an inscrutible injustice that reflects the shallow-mindedness of administration, and most teenagers in general.

  • Abigayle Turner

    You know what? There were many teachers at Whiteville High School who disliked Chance. It could have been his blatant student following, the fact the students had to put a massive amount of effort and time into the program, or the fact that he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind or stand up for a student who really deserved it. From personally knowing him, he was a smart enough man to keep his conductor’s baton in his pocket. As for his “sad song”, it must have been a rueful melody indeed, considering the fact that the entire investigation was based on rumors and probably the imature jealousy of some teenager. It is rediculous that he would be the only teacher investigated, especially when there are other male teachers present at the school. Of you’re going to check the activities of one male, why not the rest with the same mind and appendages? This is just another, everyday Whitevile occurance. Someone starts a roumor, and in order to save face, the higher ups in the beurocracy decide to go with the popular explination, rather than tinking for themselves and trusting the relationships and intricacies of people they’ve know for over a decade. But of course, it’s Whiteville, and things will never change.

  • Guest

    Alot of students have been interviewed about the situation with Bryant. I noticed all the comments about how unfair it is for Bryant to be blamed, but this is coming from those that evidently were clueless or maybe even involved in the situation. He was a great band director, but not the best. He was unable to get the slackers to step up, perform and behave. Butler was the best band director WHS ever had. He knows how to make them behave. The ones that quit the band now are probably the ones that played around and needed to be out of the band to begin with. Hopefully we can get the students that really care about the band to stick together and have a GREAT band again. I am sorry it came down to this, however our teachers have to be great roll models. They are not there to be the students’ best friends; they are there to teach. This situation has hurt our band temporarily, but hopefully the Marching Wolfpack Band will overcome this and be better than ever before. If students want to quit band because of this then they were not in the band for the right reasons in the first place.

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