RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Should parents be required to accompany their middle school-aged children to high school football games? It’s a question local schools are dealing with this season as they focus on safety.
Originally, parents were required to accompany middle school students to Friday’s Wake Forest High School football game, but that changed.
On Friday afternoon, a spokesperson for the Wake County Public School System said middle school students could attend all the evening games alone. Still, the district is strongly encouraging middle school parents to accompany students.
The spokesperson said the decision was made after feedback from stakeholders.
Less than 15 minutes into Friday night’s Wake Forest Game, students and fans made their way to the exits, many headed to their cars due to a rain delay. That’s just one reason why Annie Perry, whose son plays for Wake Forest, said parents should be with their middle schoolers.
“You never know what could happen, like tonight they postponed the game,” Perry said. “So where are these parents with the kids that are underage if they’re not here? Are they able to sit in a car? Where are they going to go?”
Ekiti Lowe’s son also plays for Wake Forest. She hopes parents accompany their kids without someone forcing them to do so.
“I think it’s the parent’s call to make that decision, but also equipping their middle school children with what they need to do, and how they need to be safe, and staying with other kids so that at least they’re not by themselves and in danger,” Lowe said.
Friday night’s game did have increased security. Fans had to go through a weapons detection system, which they tell CBS 17 is something they’ve never seen before.
A spokesperson for Wake County schools said the system was just for Friday’s game, and schools can request them for events.
As for rules on parental supervision, the spokesperson said it’s typically a school-based decision, but now the district is looking at it more closely. They’re also encouraging families to speak with their children about proper behavior at games.