- District officials described the measures as “proactive” and not tied to a specific incident
- Police and school officials will be stationed at each gate
- The season’s first game is Thursday night, Aug. 31, as Liberty hosts East Stroudsburg North
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — The Bethlehem Area School District on Wednesday announced steps to improve safety and security at high school football games at BASD Stadium.
District Communications Coordinator Barbara Clymer said the enhanced security measures were not sparked by any specific incident.
“We’re just being proactive,” she said.
The measures include stationing a police officer and assistant principal at each gate, Clymer said. According to the district, stadium gates will open at 6 p.m.
A district statement said the measures include banning backpacks and tote bags from the stadium and requiring all purses and bags brought in to be checked and cleared, although those precautions were in place last year, Clymer said.
No outside food or beverages will be permitted to be carried in, which also was the case last year, according to Clymer.
Other measures, according to the district, include:
- Stadium safety announcements will be made via the public address system before and during the game;
- Spectators may not leave and re-enter the stadium except to comply with security requirements;
- Loitering will not be permitted;
- There will be no ticket purchases or admittance to the stadium after halftime.
The first game of the season is set for Thursday night, with Liberty High School hosting East Stroudsburg North at 7 p.m.
Freedom High School hosts Parkland at 7 p.m. Friday at BASD Stadium.
“We appreciate that these proactive, modern security measures may not always be convenient for spectators, but they are absolutely necessary to support the safety of our students, families, and community,” the district statement read. “We all play a critical role in stadium safety, and we thank you in advance for your cooperation.”
BASD Stadium serves as the home field for Liberty and Freedom high school within the school district, as well as Bethlehem Catholic High School.
Clymer said the enhanced measures apply to Liberty and Freedom games.
Last October, police and the school district ramped up security after police seized a loaded handgun from a 17-year-old at the Liberty-Easton game in Bethlehem.
No one was hurt and the teen was not a Bethlehem Area student, officials said at the time.