If you have plans to attend Greenwood or Emerald’s home openers Friday, it’s the same drill as last year.
Bring a clear bag, show up early and be ready to go through a metal detector before entering J.W. Babb Stadium or Frank Hill Stadium. Greenwood District 50 is continuing with safety measures it implemented at the beginning of last season.
District 50 Community Services Coordinator Johnathan Graves said last year’s measures had plenty of positive feedback, so the district will continue with the same guidelines this year.
“Last year was so successful that we’re just going to try to redo what we did last year and hope for the same success,” Graves said. “Everything we received from parents, from administration and from law enforcement was so positive in regard to these enhanced safety measures. We want to do it right again.”
District 50 restricts weapons of any kind, illegal drugs, food or beverage (including alcohol), animals (except certified service animals), fireworks or explosives, coolers or containers and helium balloons from being brought into sporting events.
A release from District 50 states that Emerald High School and Greenwood High School reserve the right to “refuse entry of any items which may pose a safety threat or decrease the enjoyment of the event for any other attendees.”
The main thing for people who attend our games this year, we just want to remind them once again that if they’ve never been through any safety measures or been a part of our games, to make sure to get there early,” Graves said. “Gates will open two hours prior to kickoff. Metal detectors are going to be used at all entrances. There’s a clear-bag policy that will be strictly enforced.”
Graves said District 50 takes recommendations from police on its security measures. He added that the district keeps in communication with police throughout the school year to modify procedures.
District 50 implemented these security measures just before last year’s jamboree at Greenwood High School.
Many schools across the state implemented similar safety requirements around the same time.
At McCormick High, a no-bag policy was introduced at the start of the football season. The Lexington-Richland School District Five announced in June it will implement a clear-bag policy this fall, following the lead of districts across the state.
“We didn’t hear any complaints about the time it took to get through the metal detectors or check the clear bags,” Graves said. “Everything we heard from parents and students was very positive. There’s other schools around the upstate and around the state that are implementing these measures. We feel like we are right on board with the rest of the state in terms of providing those safety measures.”