Do students feel safe at athletic events?

Dylan Schmidt

More stories from Dylan Schmidt

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The student section cheers on the football team as they face BCC. Only students from the participating schools are allowed to attend athletic events unless they have a chaperone with them.

With the recent fights at football games, MCPS has taken steps in order to make people feel more safe at games and prevent future brawls. The county recently passed a new athletic policy that game attendees have to be students at the participating schools or have a parent chaperone come with them in order to attend the game.

The new policy was passed a couple days after a fight between Gaithersburg and Northwest High School. The fight started on the field between the players and led to the benches clearing and coaches getting involved. There were also several altercations in the parking lots after the game was canceled.

Several people were arrested after these incidents including the Northwest football coach. Both teams were suspended from playing football for a week. These altercations have made some students feel unsafe when going to football games.

My main concern when attending football games is the safety of the audience if a fight happens.”

— sophomore Ramzi Keyrouz

Despite the intention of the policy, students don’t support the new rules.

“The safety policy is dumb. There’s no need to bring so many adults to a football game,” junior Sidney Scale said.

Senior Ben Dutko feels that the new policy won’t make very much of a difference in eliminating fights from happening.

“At the end of the day a rivalry between a team and the emotion that goes into playing and supporting your team is likely to not fade, so fights have a similar potential to occur,” Dutko said.

The security at high school football games do the best job they can to make sure that students are safe. However, sometimes their best can’t entirely prevent fights from happening, especially if these fights are happening off campus.

“[Security] do a good job, but they are significantly outnumbered, so their ability to protect students gets limited pretty quickly if a situation escalates to a certain level,” Dutko said.

All in all, the majority of students feel safe attending football games, which is the top priority of the security.

“I have had no problems in particular. There are issues here and there, but the overall experience has always been enjoyable for me,” Dutko said.

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