“School sporting events are a thrilling display of teamwork, talent, and school spirit,” says WSHS principal Chase Bartlett. “Yet to ensure the safety and security of athletes and attendees, many educational institutions have implemented clear bag policies and the use of metal detection devices.”
Those policies have now been adopted for WSHS. The clear bag policies require spectators to carry transparent bags when entering stadiums or athletic venues. The use of metal detection devices require all spectators to walk through an open-air metal detection device.
What does that mean? Bags can be no larger than 8.5″ x 11″, clear totes no larger than 12″ x 6″ x 12″, diaper bags (with child), binoculars, cameras (lenses no longer than 4″), seat cushions (not more than 16″ wide), jackets, blankets, and items related to a medical condition. Note that Halloween costumes may be worn, but the costumes must be able to fit into a normal seating space and must be of an appropriate nature. No additional carry-ins are allowed as part of a costume.
“At Winnfield Senior High School, it is the belief of the administration that the safety and well-being of our student athletes as well as the fans should be at the forefront of our planning process. In an abundance of caution, the Winnfield Senior High School administration will implement the following rules and regulations pertaining to athletic events.”
In addition to the new clear bag and metal detector standards, all persons and their belongings will be subject to search as a condition of entry into any WSHS athletic event. WSHS will enforce a strict “No Re-entry policy during games.
State law and School District zero-tolerance policies will be in effect concerning alcoholic beveranges and controlled substances. The use of cigaretts and vaping devices is strictly prohibited on all school properties and inside athletic facilities.
Confetti, balloons or similar items requiring detailed clean-up are not permitted inside athletic facilities, nor will outside food or drink will be allowed our outside sound systems be allowed.
No spectators will be allowed on the track at any time during athletic competition nor will spectators be allowed to throw objects of any kind during games. Abusive, foul or disruptive language will not be tolerated while attending an athletic event.
Specifically, here are some items specifically prohibited: Bags larger than 8.5″ x 11″ (including backpacks), food, beverages, containers, drones, laptops, video recorders, monopods, tripods, selfie-sticks, laser pointers, weapons, banners, flags, signs, noisemakers, inflatables, strollers, or any items deemed dangerous or inappropriate. (Storage facilties are not available for checking prohibited items).
ENHANCING SAFETY and SECURITY
The primary objective of clear stadium bag policies is to enhance safety and security within the venue. By restricting the type of bags allowed inside, schools can mitigate potential risks and maintain a controlled environment. Clear bags provide transparency and enable security personnel to easily inspect their contents, thus reducing the likelihood of prohibited items entering the facility.
EFFICIENT BAG CHECK PROCESS
The implementation of clear bag policies has significantly expedited the bag check process at school sporting events. In the past, security personnel had to manually inspect each bag, leading to long lines and potential delays in entering the stadium. With clear bags, the contents are easily visible, enabling quick visual inspections. This not only saves time but also ensures a smooth entry process for attendees, allowing them to focus on enjoying the event.
PROMOTES EOUALITY AND INCLUSION
Clear stadium bag policies contribute to fostering an inclusive environment. They eliminate any ambiguity or suspicion regarding what attendees may be carrying inside their bags, thereby reducing the potential for discrimination or profiling. Everyone is subject to the same guidelines, ensuring that all spectators are treated fairly and equitably. This creates an atmosphere of unity and equality, aligning with the values of educational institutions.
PREVENTING UNAUTHORIZED ITEMS
The implementation of clear stadium bag policies acts as a deterrent for attendees attempting to bring unauthorized items into the venue. By limiting the size and type of bags allowed, schools can prevent potential threats, such as weapons or dangerous substances, from entering the sporting event. Clear bags eliminate the element of surprise and help maintain a safer environment for everyone present.
IMPROVED EVENT EXPERIENCE
In addition to enhancing security, clear stadium bags also improve the overall event experience for spectators. These bags are designed to be compact, portable, and easy to carry. They allow attendees to organize their belongings efficiently and locate items quickly when needed. Moreover, clear bags are waterproof, reducing the risk of items getting damaged due to unexpected weather conditions. With these features, clear stadium bags provide convenience and peace of mind to spectators, enabling them to fully immerse themselves in the excitement of the game.
COMPLIANCE WITH INDUSTRY STANDARDS
The adoption of clear stadium bag policies in school sporting events aligns with a broader trend in the sports industry. Many professional sports leagues and concert venues have Implemented similar policies to ensure the safety of their fans. By Implementing these policies at the school level, educational institutions prepare students for future sporting events they may attend, reinforcing the importance of safety and security.
USE of METAL DETECTION DEVICES
Until just a few years ago, airports and some government institutions had been the only facilities familiar with the use of metal detectors. The process of emptying your pockets and placing any metal objects in a bin is a memorized routine for the frequent traveler. Stadiums and now some Universities, on the other hand, are still getting used to the “inconvenience” that a metal detector may represent.
While many fans are not comfortable with the intrusiveness and the added delay to the already long lines in the stadium, metal detectors provide venues With many benefits.
DETER AND DETECT WEAPONS
Walk-through metal detectors can assist security personnel in detecting the presence of concealed weapons. Wave technology allows metal detectors to sense ferrous or non-ferrous metal objects. In many cases, an alarm or light strip will activate, thus letting guards know an item has been detected.
ENTRY AND EXIT AGILITY
Walk-through metal detectors, in particular, can enhance the quick inspection of large numbers of people. New advancements in technology are providing metal detectors with the ability to tell the difference between keys, cellphones, weapons, etc.; which could contribute to creating a safer environment without the long wait times.
By deterring weapons from entering the stadiums, sports arenas can avoid many other violent events that could harm people and premises like theft, attacks, sabotage, and other threats.