WILMINGTON -- Despite concern among New Hanover County School Board members, rapper Lil Wayne will perform at New Hanover High School on Sunday. The school attempted to cancel the concert after reports of gang violence near the school forced two lock-downs in one week. But free speech laws say the show must go on. Part of the controversy is over rapper Lil Wayne's admission that he's a gang member. And in the past, he faced charges for illegal possession of drugs and a firearm. But when the New Hanover High School attempted to prevent the concert from happening at Brogden Hall the school board was sued by the concert's promoters. Since the board can't prove the concert will be a threat to public safety members have no choice but to let Lil Wayne perform. Dr. Rick Holliday with New Hanover County Schools said, "When you are a public school and you're supposed to be espousing democracy, that means sometimes you need to allow messages you may not agree with." Wilmington Police say Lil Wayne's concerts have no history of violence and therefore cannot be considered a threat to public safety. Holliday said the promotion company agreed to pay for heightened security at the concert -- including a number of Wilmington Police officers. Sheriff's deputies will also be on hand. The promoters are calling the show a "stop the violence" concert, and hope it will prevent violent behavior, rather than promote it.
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