New team room policies following Damascus assault burden students

More stories from A.J. Frattarelli


Photo by Emma Saltzman

Junior Christine Vassel, freshman Sarah Lawerence, sophomores Jessica Vincent and Valeria Guillen talk and work on homework while waiting to get into their team room before practice.

Following the Damascus High School football incident when four student-athletes were assaulted with a broomstick in an unsupervised locker room, MCPS issued a new rule to prevent something similar from happening again. The new rule requires coaches to be supervising the team room at all times. It also requires the locker room to be locked while there is no coach supervision.

Before the incident, players were allowed to access the locker room whenever they needed. The new rule states that coaches must supervise the locker room before and after games and practices. The coaches are also required to lay out a detailed plan on how they will supervise the players, whether they are in the locker room, on the field or around campus.

Junior baseball player Dean Wandell is concerned about the rule because he feels it affects practice time.

“I understand why but it does affect practice time because our coach doesn’t work at WJ so it sometimes takes 20 to 30 minutes to get into the locker room,” Wandell said.

Head varsity football coach Larry Hurd feels the new rule should not have had to be put in place.

“As coaches, it is our job is to make sure our players are safe. I have always had a plan to make sure that our players our safe,” Hurd said.

Senior field hockey player Garima Gupta feels the rule is a step in the right direction but it might not matter.

“I think the rule is a step in the right direction but I also think that if someone wants to do something they are going to find a way to do it no matter the rule.” Gupta said