MCPS’s Enhanced Safety Measures for Athletic Events to Take Effect at Friday’s High School Football Games

by Patrick Herron

At a press conference on Wednesday, Montgomery County Public Schools announced several new safety measures that will be implemented at upcoming sporting events as a result of last week’s incident at Gaithersburg High School that resulted in the Gaithersburg/Northwest High School Football Game being called off following an on-field altercation between the teams, as well as the arrest of five individuals for fights that occurred after the game in Gaithersburg High School’s parking lot. The safety measures include:

  • Students of the participating schools will be allowed to attend with a valid ticket and with their student ID or Synergy verification of their schedule. All other school-aged spectators must be accompanied by an adult chaperone—this includes all elementary and middle school students and high school students from other schools. Adult chaperones must stay and supervise students for the duration of their stay at the game. Spectators are asked to be patient at the gate, as admission may take additional time.
  • Students and spectators must sit in the stands during the game. While there will be potential gatherings at halftime and postgame, large gatherings will not be allowed during the game.
  • There will be no re-entry and spectators will not be admitted after halftime.
  • Backpacks will not be allowed.
  • Only student-athletes, coaches, game officials, athletic department staff, and credentialed personnel and media are permitted on the sidelines.
  • Event security personnel will use separate entrances, staggered exits and additional support in high-traffic areas.
  • Inappropriate and unruly behavior may result in suspension from subsequent MCPS athletic activities.

Per MCPS, these changes will be in effect for all high school athletic events for the remainder of the season. Should other incidents occur, other tiered security interventions will be implemented. These could include spectator capacity limitations and game time/date adjustments. Additional actions will be based on the following criteria or guidelines:


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