-- Talladega College, a historically black college in Alabama, is sending its marching band to perform at President-elect Donald Trump's inaugural parade despite protests by some alumni and members of the public.
Shirley Ferrill, a retired grandmother and graduate of Talladega's class of 1974, launched a a petition on Change.org on Jan. 4 asking the college to withdraw its band from the inaugural parade on Friday, Jan. 20 in Washington, D.C. By Sunday, it had drawn more than 2,600 signatures.
Ferrill told ABC News in a phone interview that she hopes a drumbeat of opposition on social media will lead the school's president to reconsider the decision to participate in the ceremony.
"Our ancestors are jumping out of their graves pounding their fists and saying, 'Don't do this,'" Ferrill said. "We are going to throw away the reputation of our school."
Talladega's president, Billy Hawkins, said in a statement that the school's participation in the event is not necessarily an endorsement of President-elect Trump.
“We respect and appreciate how our students and alumni feel about our participation in this parade,” Hawkins said in a statement. “As many of those who chose to participate in the parade have said, we feel the inauguration of a new president is not a political event but a civil ceremony celebrating the transfer of power.”
In a similar vein, a rival petition that was started a day after Ferrill's argues in favor of the school's participation in the event. The petition launched by Talladega student and band member Dollan Young had as of Sunday afternoon drawn a little over 300 signatures.
"We believe that this parade is not about politics, it’s about seeing firsthand the process of a transition," Young's petition declares before going on to say that "everyone is entitled to [their] own beliefs."
Ferrill said politics cannot be separated from the inaugural event.
“I’m really still hoping that with the momentum and outrage we can still get the [college] president to withdraw,” Ferrill said. "We don't need this kind of exposure. Our school is already on the map, thank you very much."
Finding star talent to participate in Trump's inauguration has a been a complicated undertaking.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and The Rockettes are both slated to perform at the event, despite some members of both groups voicing dissent over the planned participation.