STREETSBORO _ Angry high school students protested at city hall Friday over a decision by local officials to cancel the 'Spring Mosh 99' concert scheduled to play in the high school gym.
About 100 students gathered outside the building to try to convince Mayor Sally Henzel to reinstate the concert. Henzel announced Thursday that due to unresolved safety issues concerning the show, the city would not issue a license for the concert.
"We're getting hosed over," student Andrew Long said.
"We're really mad, they voted to let this happen and at the last minute they screwed us over," student Chris Evans said.
The April 24 heavy metal concert featuring four area bands was to be a fund-raiser for high school radio station WSTB-FM (88.9), known as V-Rock. Students involved with the station presented the board of education with detailed plans for the concert in December, which they approved.
On the heels of the decision came protests from some residents and local and out of town religious organizations concerned with one of the bands in the concert. The band, Mushroomhead, has a stage show that often includes offensive language, costumes, barn yard animal masks, whips and chains, and a female member who partially disrobes on stage while dancing.
Superintendent Mary Linton approached the board of education with the concerns at it's last meeting, and the board let stand the decision to have the show. That was the plan until Henzel made her announcement Thursday, the day before 1500 tickets for the show were to go on sale.
Henzel cited safety issues and said the fire and police department's responsibilities could be stretched to the limit if something went wrong at the concert.
"The impact on the community, being short of safety services if something happens on the other side of town, safety services and police would be lacking for the rest of the community," Henzel said.
She said moral issues about any bands were not part of her decision.
"The moral issue is up to the schools to decide, this is strictly safety," she added.
Linton and district treasurer Todd Puster said they did not try to shut the concert down and were surprised when the mayor told them she would not issue a license for the show.
"I feel sorry for the kids," Linton said. "The license (issue) came out of the blue."
Linton said other events with crowds and gate fees in the city and schools don't need a license. However she and Puster said they would not go against the mayor as the chief law enforcement officer and safety director for the city.
Police Chief Ronald Schmid has voiced concern over the concert for security reasons. Acting Fire Chief Kevin Grimm said as long as his recommendations were followed, he didn't have a problem with the concert.
"We never recommended shutting it down," Grimm said. He met with concert coordinators previously and explained his concerns, which involved the availability of extra ambulances, emergency traffic, security communications, fire scene concerns and the gym's occupancy.
Some students protesting didn't believe that safety issues were behind the concert's cancellation.
"It's discrimination, straight across the board," student Matt Wilcox said.
Some students said if it was some other type of music being played, or some other event like sports, there wouldn't have been any concern.
Others said there was nothing to do in Streetsboro and the concert gave them something to do. "We may have some fast food restaurants, but other than that it is a little lame," student Allyson Ward said.