New security measures in place after fight at Union County football game

MONROE, N.C. — Union County Public Schools is implementing more security measures at athletic events after “a number of safety incidents,” officials said.

A fight last Friday night at the Monroe-Forest Hills football game was the final straw for the district.

“What happened last Friday night was very disappointing and embarrassing for Union County Public Schools,” said Superintendent Andrew Houlihan.

Officials were forced to end the game in the third quarter after the fight in the concessions area.

“I know they are disappointed,” Houlihan said. “The coaches are disappointed. They deserve to have the chance and the right to play a full game.”

Houlihan said most of the issues lately involve unsupervised students turning athletic events into social ones.

The new protocols include:

  • Clear bags that cannot be bigger than 4.5 inches x 6.5 inches.
  • Medical and baby bags can be searched.
  • Middle and elementary students must be accompanied by someone 21 years or older at events and games.
  • All ticket sales will end at the beginning of halftime or at the midpoint of an event.

These new rules start on Friday.

Parent Alma Aparicio said the new policy is necessary. She’s witnessed bad behavior from kids when she takes her middle schooler to games.

“So many of the times I’ve come, they are a mess,” Aparicio said. “The behavior and the poor parenting.”

She said safety has been a concern for her and other parents.

She is glad the district made the change even if it makes it difficult to go to games.

“Of course it will be hard,” she said. “It is difficult to be present at all times with your kids, but that’s what parenting is, right? That’s what we are there for.”

VIDEO: Fights stop high school football game in Union County

Comments on this article