Phenix City Schools implementing new sports safety rules

Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 11:48 PM EDT
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PHENIX CITY Ala. (WTVM) - As students head back to the classroom, safety is a top concern for many parents in light of a surge in gun violence across the nation.

And with the return of high school football, at least one school in the area implemented new rules at the stadium for their first game Friday night.

High school football season is back -- meaning the return of Friday Night Lights. During Friday’s game at the Garrett-Harrison Stadium with Central High School going up against Hewitt-Trussville High School, attendees adjusted to some new safety rules being implemented at this stadium.

“I’m glad it’s the return of high school football. I love high school football. I try not to miss a game,” said Central High School fan Charles Few.

At the gate, fans go through metal detectors and video surveillance is used once inside.

“It’s probably a good measure. I mean, we’re used to it in college games where you got to go through metal detectors and can’t take in bags without being searched,” said Hewitt-Trussville fan Gerald Wilbank.

“I think it’s good what they’re doing. Safety first,” said former Russell County football player Darrie Miles.

While the school district does not recommend bringing any bags, they allow fans to carry small clutches, one clear plastic bag, vinyl or PVC or a one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag. However, book bags, purses and diaper bags are not allowed.

“We had a little bit of a problem with the plastic bags that you can take in. We have great-grandchildren that are coming that need a diaper bag. They can’t take it in. So, we were a little concerned about that,” said Daris Wilbanks.

While enjoying the game, Phenix City Schools says students under 14 must be accompanied by an adult, family member or guardian who cannot be an older sibling or family member who currently attends PCS.

“I think it’s a good thing because the way things are going right now, the world is so evil,” said Few.

The school district also restricts students from walking to or sitting on the visitor’s side. Attendees are also NOT ALLOWED on any playing surfaces or competition areas after the event.

Once the game ends, the school district says students have 30 minutes to leave the stadium before they are banned from attending future games. Students are encouraged to call their ride during the third quarter to avoid this issue.

The school district says anyone who refuses to follow the new rules will have to leave the venue without a refund. The complete list of rules is below: