NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – New Haven Public Schools has announced that until further notice, students attending sporting events may only do so in the company of a parent or guardian.
This announcement comes after several fights that occurred in the stands during Friday’s football game between James Hillhouse High School and Hamden High School at Bowen Field.
Superintendent Dr. Iline Tracey put out a notice to families saying that these incidents created conditions that were unsafe for fans and required intervention by the New Haven Police Department.
Due to the fights, New Haven Public Schools says that until further notice, students may attend the sporting events only in the company of a parent or guardian.
Justin Harmon, of New Haven Public Schools director of communications, explained, “We don’t want to be responsible for a situation in which something really bad happens, in which someone is hurt. Or worse. And so our first responsibility is to make sure that the event is safe and then in the context, it’ll be a lot easier for students to enjoy.”
Harmon also said the hope is that this won’t be necessary for long and that while some parents are saying they appreciate the caution the district is taking, there has been pushback from individuals who feel they are taking a larger step than necessary. “It’s a risk we are willing to take,” he added.
Mayor Justin Elicker said, “I very much support the superintendent’s initiative to reduce the number of people at these events and require chaperones, effectively require chaperones at sporting events. Safety needs to be our priority.”
Chief Renee Dominguez of New Haven Police said, “On top of having our SROs (school resource officers) there, next Friday, we will augment with additional personnel at the game and also surrounding after the game.”
The parent or guardian is required to be present for as long as the student is in attendance.