The Cheatham County School District (CCSD) has implemented new security measures for the 2023-2024 athletic season – effective immediately – that spectators are expected to follow.
According to a press release published by the district on Aug. 21, a new bag policy has been put in place for all Cheatham County sporting events.
“While spectators are encouraged not to bring bags into events,” the press release says, “one clear tote bag per person will be permitted. All bags are subject to be searched by school employees or law enforcement.”
Exceptions to the bag policy will include students participating in the event – athletes, cheerleaders, band performers, and others – officials and referees, and bags necessary for approved medical equipment.
Outside food and drinks in open containers are now also prohibited, CCSD noted.
Additionally, children who are middle school age or younger must be accompanied by an adult for entry into an athletic event. The no re-entry policy, which has already been in place, will continue to be enforced.
In collaboration with the Cheatham County Sheriff's Office, there may be additional officers providing security at athletic events and ticket sales may be limited or restricted based upon capacity or security availability, the district wrote.
The school district also offered three reminders for families and spectators of the sports events:
The use of cigarettes, vapes and any other nicotine product and/or drug is prohibited on our campuses, which includes athletic stands and fields;
Only service animals are allowed on our school campuses. This means no dogs or other pets are permitted at any school event, which includes indoor and outdoor sports, unless it is a service animal; and
All sports gates are accepting cash this year in addition to GoFan.
Those who violate the above policies or the Spectator Code of Conduct will not be admitted into the event and could be removed and banned from attending future events, CCSD warned.
“These new policies, along with existing ones, are just another step in keeping our community, families, and visiting fans safe,” the district wrote. “We want everyone to feel safe at our events and parents to know we care about safety within our stadiums and gyms.”
The new sports safety measures follow the school district’s wider efforts to prioritize student and staff safety this academic year.
In the school buildings, CCSD introduced a new backpack policy which mandates all middle and high school students to store their backpacks, lunch boxes, and sports bags in their lockers each morning, and these items will no longer be allowed to be carried from room to room throughout the day. Additionally, the Cheatham County Commission approved funding for two additional School Resource Officer positions for the 2023-2024 school year.
CCSD Director of Schools, Dr. Cathy Beck, wrote in her welcome letter that all Cheatham County schools will also replace their interior locks and upgrade their camera systems.
“One of our priorities this year is to make sure our students and staff are safe when they are on our campuses, and that this safety is maintained at all times,” she said.