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The State

November 10, 1987

Band members from two San Joaquin Valley high schools--Beyer High in Modesto and Redwood High in Visalia--marched out of an awards ceremony in Merced after learning they had been disqualified for carrying wooden replicas of rifles. A rule barring rifle drill teams in the parade section of the annual Central California Band Review had been ignored in the past, Redwood band director Dennis Bettencourt contended. In fact, Beyer High won a sweepstakes award last year, even though its drill team marched with replicas of rifles, officials said. "Half my kids were in tears and the other half were irate," Bettencourt said. Yvonne James, secretary of the review's executive committee, said the two bands had to be disqualified to be fair to a third band whose director called in advance to check on the rule and was told not to use rifles.

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