GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Are we safe at high school football games?
That’s a question many students, parents and community members are asking themselves after the deadly shooting at Dudley High School’s parking lot last week.
FOX8 has been working to get details all week from the Guilford County School System about their safety policies for high school football games. On Wednesday, Guilford County Schools and the Greensboro Police Department hosted a briefing to talk about safety.
The two organizations say it’s a partnership, and they meet before every game to decide the best plan based on each specific game. As we saw Friday night, people are bold despite their efforts, and police and school leaders say the change needs to come from the community.
“The violence is unacceptable at any time of day, any day of the week because it is ruining not just football Friday. It is ruining lives, families,” Assistant Superintendent of School Safety and Emergency Management Mike Richey said.
Richey says they are always re-evaluating their safety measures.
“We are not going to discuss every single security procedure we have … because if it is all known then it can be thwarted, and we don’t want that to happen,” Richey said.
The security you will see at a game starts with signs then you will wait in line to walk through a weapons screener. You have to use a clear bag that they will check. Once you get inside the stadium, they have you go right to your seat and stay seated. If you leave the stadium, you will not be allowed back inside.
“Access is the one thing we are still discussing and where we check that. Is it further away from the stadium or at the stadium that is always going to be open … there is likelihood of changes in that way in each of our schools,” Richey said.
FOX8 reached out to Superintendent Dr. Whitney Oakley several times to share her thoughts on the tragedy and how the district can move forward, but she directed us to the media briefing happening on Wednesday.
During that time, we heard from Greensboro Police Chief John Thompson who says they are following up on leads but there have not been any arrests made.
“I guarantee that there were probably individuals at the incident Friday night that saw something, and we need them to step forward … Them stepping forward and providing information shows that we are not going to accept this type of violence in our community,” Thompson said.
Richey was the spokesperson for the district at Wednesday’s briefing where he said they are expecting a large crowd at this week’s DHS game, and they are prepared for it from the stadium to out in the parking lot.
“This will be a safe game,” Richey said.
The district says they are moving Dudley’s game time on Friday night to Saturday at noon so daylight will provide better safety.
That was a suggestion from the community during a safety meeting Monday night.
The district says they plan to continue to hold those meetings in the future.