“It’s Clearly Football Season”
Friday, August 24th, will be the first football game for the Clinton Red Devils. They play at home against their larger county rival, the Laurens District 55 High School Raiders. Typically, the games are hard fought, competitive efforts often filed under the “slob knocker” category.
However, this year, as important as the game is, there is something equally so: the clear bag.
Laurens County School District 56 has implemented restriction on the types of bags that may be brought into Wilder Stadium. The procedures, we believe, will enhance public safety. We really would prefer no bags in the stadium but we recognize the need for certain items for small children or other necessities.
Beginning at the Laurens game, fans will only be able to carry clear plastic or clear vinyl bags into Wilder Stadium if the bag is larger than 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches (e.g., clutch purse).
The South Carolina High School League sent information to all its schools requesting high schools implement the clear bag policy and consider adding wands for metal detection. We in Laurens County School District 56 have decided to begin with the clear bag procedure first and then determine if the use of wands is needed as well.
If you go to many large sporting events or concerts, it is now common to have bags checked or frisked along with wands gliding up and down one’s body to make sure safety remains paramount.
I know there will be some adjustments for this procedural change but we believe this action can help us keep our facilities safe.
Additional safety measures for Wilder Stadium Events include:
Clear bag policy strictly enforced for bags larger than 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches.
No weapons allowed including pocket knives, guns, ice picks, etc.
No illegal drugs or alcoholic beverages.
No one under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be allowed to enter Wilder Stadium.
Any 8th grade or younger student must be accompanied by an adult before being admitted into the stadium.
This last safety measure listed above does not mean we don’t want middle or elementary students at the games; it’s just younger students must be responsible to an easily identifiable adult. Too often, we have had serious, football-minded fans call us over to “discipline” young children who are more disruptive and far less interested in the game itself.
These efforts intend to make for a more enjoyable experience, to allow fans to see and support the Red Devils and the Wildcats, and not to worry about juvenile or constantly disruptive behavior.
We encourage all of our community to come out to the football games for our Red Devils and Wildcats and support them.
(Dr. David O’Shields is superintendent of District 56.)