Montgomery County Public Schools announced Thursday that they are considering adding new safety measures to Friday night football games after several fights broke out during a game last week.
The fights occurred at Seneca Valley High School in Germantown last Friday and forced the game to end early amid safety concerns. There were unfounded rumors that someone pulled out a gun.
“My godbrother plays for Northwest, so it was scary for us because you never know … it should never be to a point where they have to shut it down,” a recent Northwest High School graduate said.
The changes may include an increased police presence, limited attendees, student identification checks, rescheduled games and more.
“I am appealing to each of you to speak to your students today and to continue to reinforce that fighting is never the right answer,” the school’s principal stated in a letter to parents. “If your child needs help developing different strategies or making different choices, please have them contact me, their counselor, or their administrator. We are here to help.”
School officials told News4 students engaging in fights may be trying to gain attention online.
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Seneca Valley students also had to shelter in place twice during the school day Wednesday because of potential threats later determined to be unfounded.
The game fights have caused the principals at Quince Orchard and Northwest high schools to make changes to this Friday’s football games by starting them at 4:30 p.m., requiring student IDs, and only allowing elementary and middle school students to attend with a parent or guardian.
“This decision is out of an abundance of caution for everyone’s safety and for the smooth operations of the entire event,” the principals said in a joint statement.
School officials say the games are an extension of the school day and appropriate behavior is expected in the classroom and in the stands.