The district said these changes are to “maintain a safe environment at CMS sporting events.”
CHARLOTTE, NC — Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools announced that they will beef up security at all sporting events beginning Friday.
Some of the changes being made include elementary or middle school students not being able to attend high school games without a parent present. Therefore, parents who normally leave their younger children at games can no longer do that.
“A lot of kids are being dropped off and they’re not there to watch the games,” said CMS athletic director Ericia Turner. “They’re just playing and walking around, and things happen.”
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CMS outlined how all spectators, including children, will be required to sit in the stands during games and that if anyone refuses to do so, they will be removed from the venue with no refund of their ticket.
Food stalls and restroom visits are allowed, of course, but patrons are asked to immediately return to their seats in the stands.
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The district has also hired additional officers to help school resource officers, athletic directors, school administrators, behavior management team members and other CMS staff members already in attendance enforce these new procedures.
“If a group of middle school or elementary school kids arrive at the gate without a parent, they are encouraged to stop them at the gate and contact their parents,” Turner said.
Parents were notified Friday afternoon of the changes via text messages and on CMS’s social media pages.
“I am the parent of a student athlete, but I am also the parent of a child who died in someone else’s care,” Turner said. “So that’s real to me. My son died in day care, so I know what it’s like to have other people’s children in your care.”
The new protocols will apply to all CMS sporting events.
“These efforts are evidence of a commitment to maintaining a safe environment at CMS sporting events for students, staff, parents and all fans to enjoy,” CMS stated in a news release Friday. “Entry procedures remain unchanged; security scans remain in place, including metal detector wands and searches as warranted.”
“Entry procedures will include the use of portable metal detectors and bag searches as warranted,” the social media post outlined.
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