COWETA, Okla. — Coweta Public Schools is now one of a handful of green country districts taking additional safety precautions at athletic events due to the increase in shootings at high school football games.
Tiger Field, in Coweta, will be packed for the famous Wagoner County rivalry football game on Friday night -Wagoner at Coweta. But it will look different in years past. Fans can expect to see a lot of clear bags.
For many people, Friday Night Lights is a ritual. But gun violence is ramping up at sporting events nationwide and state-wide. Examples include the fatal shooting at last week’s Choctaw-Del City football game – and another at the McClain-Miami football game last year.
Coweta Police Chief Mike Bell says he’s not taking any chances.
“It’s sad that we’ve come to this.” he told 2 News.
His new rules echo school districts such as Tulsa, Owasso, Sand Springs, Catoosa, and Bartlesville.
Coweta is only allowing clear bags into stadiums -with the exception of diaper bags – and all children, junior high or lower must have an adult with them.
Misty Edwards owns ‘4 Tons of Blessings’ Boutiques in Coweta. The mom of four, including one who’s a senior at Coweta High, believes their new safety rules are necessary.
“When something happens, I have peace of mind because I know they (police) will take care of my child,” Edwards said. “I know our children are their first priority, and the community as a whole is their first priority.”
Plus – if you plan to leave the stadium at any point and choose to come back in, you won’t be able to.
It’s all drastic measures, unlike anything Chief Bell says he’s seen in his lifetime.
“There will be at least one AR that’s going to be stationed inside the football stadium for the safety of the citizens, and hopefully, we’ll have two drones,” Bell added.
It’s all an effort to keep watching sports fun – like it used to be.
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