HS Football: Preventing Fights Under Friday Night Lights
CHARLOTTE, NC- The sights and sounds of high school football can sometimes lead to trouble for students.
Big crowds at stadiums all over Charlotte bring police out in large numbers.
Cver a dozen Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Mint Hill Police Officers were at the Ardrey Kell v. Independence game Friday night.
"When we put our security plans together for the football games, our number one goal is the safety of the students and the safety of the families," said Sergeant Dave Cristy, of CMPD.
Officers say trouble often comes from outsiders, like former students.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ security works with students daily.
At games, they focus on crowd control because they say they can spot the outside trouble makers easily.
"One of the things that we look for is large groups that are forming up. If large groups are forming up, we definitely start to move that way. We try to keep everyone moving. We don't like a lot of loitering, we don't like people standing around," said Cristy.
Officer Julio Herrera is the school resource officer at Ardrey Kell. Herrera says he has no tolerance when it comes to fighting.
As seen in the South Pointe v. Rock Hill field brawl, Herrrera says safety on the field is just as important as in the stands.
School administrators, officers, and coaches are on high alert at the end of the fourth quarter and after the game.
“I make sure they get on the bus safely. Make sure the cheerleaders get on the bus safely. And then escort them off the premises," said Herrera.
The Charlotte Community Safety Committee is discussing a new proposal that could help prevent students from getting into trouble even after they leave the stadium.
The proposal would extend the city’s 11p.m.mcurfew to16 and 17 years-old. Currently, the curfew affects students 15 and under.
“They're putting themselves in harm's way of something happening to them, or They could be a menace to someone else out there. We don't want to run a risk either way public safety-wise for any one," said Patrick Cannon, Charlotte City Councilman (D).
Both South Carolina schools have been fined $300 and face numerous suspensions because of the fight.