NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — While school has yet to begin in many districts in Eastern North Carolina, football season is well underway.
With a new season comes new safety measures. Across the area, school districts are doing everything they can to keep fans safe, so they can focus on rooting for their team. For Craven County Schools, there are new special event procedures for large gatherings.
“Football games included, basketball games, graduations, whatever event we deem necessary,” Craven County Schools Director of Security and Emergency Management. Nick Lucas. said. “This year, given the current environment we’re living in, some events that have happened nationwide, we felt it was very necessary to ensure the safety of our community when they’re on school property.”
These added levels of security take the form of magnetometers, also called metal detectors, as well as bag checks at the entrance of events. If a person sets off one of these devices, they will be asked to step aside for more screening.
Lucas said people can expect to see these metal detectors at big rivalry games.
“If it’s a local game, if it’s Havelock and New Bern game or something like that, I mean you’re going to see thousands of people come out,” Lucas said.
Other districts in ENC are also implementing new safety procedures. For Pitt County Schools, there are also plans to have detectors at sporting events.
“We’re going to man every gate; we’re going to have our (student resource officers) surrounding throughout our football facilities. They usually have areas they’re responsible for, as well as multiple administrators at every athletic event,” Pitt County Schools Director of Athletics, Rob Maloney, said.
Like Craven County, Onslow County Schools also purchased metal detectors. In a written statement to WNCT, Onslow County Schools Chief Communications Officer Brent Anderson stated:
“OCS has purchased metal detectors for our high schools to use at specific large-gathering events. At this time, this includes all home varsity football games. Beginning with games on August 18, all spectators will be required to enter through the metal detectors prior to entering the school’s stadium.
“In addition, all OCS high schools are implementing a clear bag policy for varsity football games. All other bags and backpacks will not be permitted.
“Spectators are asked to arrive early and be patient. The district thanks all our community members for their support and understanding as we implement this new safety procedure.”
It is all in the name of security Lucas said.
“Everybody who’s on school property is essentially under our care and custody while they’re here, so we have to make sure they’re safe,” said Lucas.
For Craven County Schools, the following items are not permitted on campus:
- Large luggage items
- Firearms or weapons of any kind
- Alcoholic beverages
- Tobacco/vaping products
- Laser pointers
- Strobe lights
- Artificial noisemakers
- Inflatables (balls, toys, etc.)
Those in attendance will be required to pass through metal detectors. Large bags will be searched. Those with Craven County Schools ask attendants to arrive early and for patience during the screening process.