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Ruff Draft


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Edmond Public Schools updates sporting event policy

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EPS announces new safety policy for the security of the community.

Earlier this month Edmond Public Schools released updated safety and security policies regarding all EPS high school sporting events. The official announcement targets eight key points: wearing ID badges, designated student entrances, students that do not attend either of the schools participating in the game, permitted bags, outside athletic equipment, cheering section etiquette and security presence. 

Discussions of changing the safety policy began immediately after an incident at a Choctaw High School football game on Friday, Aug 25. According to the statement released by EPS, the district has worked closely with security experts and the Edmond Police Department to put together a plan to ensure safety for all athletic event attendees.

“When there were two gun incidents at Oklahoma high school football games the first week of play this year, we knew we had to make changes no matter how hard they would be,” EPS Superintendent Angela Grunewald said.

Over a series of three meetings with principals, athletic directors, administrators and the Edmond Police Department, EPS designed an eight-part plan that changes the way students interact at school sporting events, the most important of which is wearing the district-issued student IDs to enter the game. 

“If something were to happen and kids get lost and they’re not with their parents, we now have a way to identify them,” Edmond Memorial High School Principal Brandi Wheeler said. “It just adds another level of safety.”

The policy additionally requires students who are not from either participating school to be accompanied by an adult. If an outside student has an adult with them for supervision, the faculty at the game can focus their attention elsewhere. 

“In the past when a discipline issue at a game occurred and it involved a student from a school not represented, it was hard to get in touch with a parent to come get them,” Grunewald said.

Despite the stricter rules that have been implemented to enter, recent events, such as football games, have not wavered in attendance in the slightest. Students are continuously showing up to sporting events with an abundance of school spirit.

“In the first two weeks of our changes, our attendance is in line with past years and events,” EPS Public Information Officer Jeff Bardach said. 

After a meeting held Monday, Sept. 11 to debrief how the new policy worked following the Edmond Memorial versus Edmond North football game the former Friday night, the district found that the best working aspect of the policy was the separate entrance for high school students. It kept entry lines short and the process of moving people to the stands efficient. 

“A measure we realized was needed are supervisors to do bathroom sweeps,” Grunewald said. “We had students hanging out in the bathrooms who needed to be in the stands.”

For the time being, these policies are being applied to every EPS sporting event including indoor and outdoor events. A version of these policies is also being implemented at middle school sporting events for everyone’s safety.

“If the safety measures are good for [football games] they’re good for any sporting event, so at this time [the policy] applies to all of our sporting events,” Wheeler said.

Overall, the purpose of the updated sporting event safety policy is for the safety of the students, players, faculty and other attendees safe and secure while continuing to enjoy the game. 

Contact Macey Thaxton at [email protected]

About the Contributor
Macey Thaxton
Macey Thaxton, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Hi there! My name is Macey Thaxton, I’m a senior this year and I’m proud to be one of the Co-Editors-in-Chief for the Ruff Draft! This is my fourth year writing for the newspaper and I’ve loved every moment of it. Outside of school, I’m an 11th-year Girl Scout and a barista at a local coffee shop. I also enjoy reading, writing and traveling in my free time. I’m so excited to write for the Ruff Draft one last time!