BCHS board allows Lima student to participate in band

Casey S. Elliott
Tuesday, November 22, 2022

A Lima student will be allowed to participate in Beaverhead County High School’s pep band, the school board determined Monday.

Lima Schools Superintendent Brian Rayburn’s son, Carter, enjoyed playing in bands the last couple of years when Rayburn left Lima to become Florence-Carlton’s superintendent. Rayburn returned to Lima recently, and wanted to continue to provide music opportunities for his son.

Lima has been unable to retain a music teacher in its district, so the only option for his son is BCHS. Superintendent Gary Haverfield initially denied the Rayburns’ request, stating only BCHS-enrolled students can be in the band. Part of the reason is that band is different from after-school sports, in that participants practice in a class period and get a grade for their participation. Carter would need to travel to Dillon for a class period and return to Lima if he wanted to participate in pep band. But another issue is past precedent.

“I’ve talked to a lot of kids that came to BCHS from out of district. They came to take advantage of our curricular and extracurricular activities,” Haverfield said. “To be fair to everyone you’ve got to try to be consistent in what you do, and that’s part of the reason for my decision.”

Haverfield added he was also concerned about how many other districts might request a similar arrangement if the board allowed unenrolled students to participate in other non-athletic activities.

Rayburn appealed Haverfield’s decision, and the board unanimously granted the superintendents to set up an agreement to allow the youth to be in pep band.

“If we do this, it would be a neighborly sort of thing,” Board President Gary Love said before the vote.

“It’s for a student – that’s the bottom line,” board member Koy Holland said. “That’s where my heart goes, and how we can help him achieve what he wants to try to do.”

Board members said they hoped at some point Carter would become a full-time student at BCHS; Rayburn said it is not possible to do at this time based on his schedule as Lima superintendent.

The agreement might mirror the typical athletics co-op or MOU agreements, where students in other districts can be enrolled elsewhere but participate in a sport at BCHS, if that sport is not offered in their home districts. The board asked this agreement to state specifically it would only be allowed for schools in Beaverhead County in the future.

The next board meeting is set for Dec. 12.