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Protests held outside of Shaw High School after band director resigns due to 'unfair disciplinary actions' from school officials

Donshon Wilson, the leader of the Shaw High School marching band for nearly 20 years, resigned last week.

CLEVELAND — Protesters lined up outside of Shaw High School on Monday in support of former marching band director Donshon Wilson, who resigned last week due to what he says was 'unfair disciplinary actions' from school officials over the past nine months. 

During Wilson's nearly two-decade-long history as Shaw's director, the band had earned more than 250 first-place trophies and have performed for notable names including former President Bill Clinton and former President Barack Obama.  

RELATED: Shaw High School marching band director says unfair disciplinary action from new leadership led to resignation

While speaking with 3News' January Keaton last week, Wilson said he was targeted by school officials, named Dr. Henry Pettigrew, for things he claims he did not do. Pettigrew was commissioned by the Ohio Department of Education’s Academic Distress Committee (ADC) back in 2019 to try and improve East Cleveland's failing schools, which had received an "F" in overall academics three years in a row.  

"I was brought in the office because it was assumed that I had spent $80,000 on our new newsroom that we were trying to build for our students. I had nothing to do with that, although it was our room. The next one was about, he wanted some CEO directives from communications. He said I didn't complete those directives. I did," said Wilson.

RELATED: Shaw High School marching band director announces resignation 'with heavy heart'

Shaw High School Principal Larry Ellis released the following statement Monday to 3News on the protests surrounding Wilson's departure: 

I know there are strong emotions about Mr. Wilson decision to resign, and we certainly respect everyone's right to express their opinions and stage today's peaceful protest. 

The Mighty Shaw High School Cardinal Marching Band has evolved and accomplished much during his tenure here. We all respect and recognize that. Our goal is to improve the band we all love. We expect to have some exciting news about that soon. We are determined to achieve even greater heights, and we are excited at the prospect of an even mightier marching band.

This is a developing story. Check back with 3News for updates.  

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