Backpacks forbidden at ballgames

By: Staff report

ROCKINGHAM — In its newest measure to safeguard student safety at school events, Richmond County Schools has banned backpacks and book bags during games at Richmond Senior High School’s Raider Stadium.

The prohibition will take effect immediately.

“It’s a precautionary measure,” public information officer Briana Goins said Thursday. “This was a collective decision to keep students, staff and visitors safe.”

No specific incident prompted the new rule, she said, but students should have enough time between school dismissal and kickoff to change and discard their book bags.

“Other schools and colleges are making these decisions now, and we want to make that step,” she said.

Book bags won’t be permitted at games, but other bags such as purses and diaper bags will be allowed — although they will be subject to search by security officers. The next home football game will be at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 31.

Earlier this year, Richmond County Schools equipped five schools with cameras and entrance buzzers to improve student and staff safety. The schools were chosen because of the difficulty of monitoring on-campus visitors, officials said at the time.

Other safety measures include “active shooter” drills that occur twice a year, and upgraded lighting throughout schools.

Staff report