How Is Rock Hill School District Increasing Their Security Measures?

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How Is Rock Hill School District Increasing Their Security Measures?

Hayden Fowler, Copy Editor

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Security protocols at home football games for South Pointe, Rock Hill, and Northwestern fans just got a little more complex.

As of Aug. 24, 2019, Rock Hill School District implemented a new form of security at South Pointe and District 3’s stadiums in an attempt to heighten safety within the district.

A clear bag policy was introduced by the Rock Hill school board as a way for students, parents, staff members, and fans to better enjoy athletic events without having to be overwhelmed by the thought of potential threats to their safety.

The policy itself limits what attendees can bring into school-sponsored events, like home football games, but purses smaller than 6 by 4.5 inches serve as an exception. Anything from a large purse, book bags, diaper bags, and even clear bags larger than 12 by 12 inches are prohibited.

Many high schools around South Carolina, and throughout the United States in general, have already taken steps to ensure safety at public sporting events, pushing Rock Hill School District to reach similar goals.

“Last year, Dr. Cook [superintendent of Rock Hill Schools] held an athletic advisory committee for all three schools where athletic directors, principals, and parents would go over a few things that would improve athletics, one being game security,” said South Pointe athletic director Adam Hare. “What came out of those discussions wasn’t exactly a clear bag policy, but more or less later on incorporating the walk-through of metal detectors.”

Rock Hill district employees work as the security checkpoints at the stadiums to ensure prohibited items are not being brought into games, similar to that of college or professional level events like South Carolina, Clemson, and Carolina Panther football games.

Choosing district employees for bag checks came with the idea to make the security measures as “customer-friendly” as possible.

“They [the advisory committee] wanted it to be more of a friendly approach…so they felt like having school personnel would work the best,” Hare explained.

The question of whether or not the policy is necessary has come about, as would most questions about changes to official new district-wide rules.

“I feel like the policy might help a little bit, but overall, I feel like people are still going to be able to sneak stuff [prohibited items] in,” said senior Emily Hedstrom when asked if the policy would be effective.

The clear bag policy, overall, may be new and questionable to some, but as clarified by district employees, will provide much safer environments for fans and students alike.