New bag policy at all stadiums

Schools push for safety with clear bag policy.

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New bag policy at all stadiums

Wildcat football volunteers pass out clear bags allowed into the stadium.

Wildcat football volunteers pass out clear bags allowed into the stadium.

Alex Wells

Wildcat football volunteers pass out clear bags allowed into the stadium.

Alex Wells

Alex Wells

Wildcat football volunteers pass out clear bags allowed into the stadium.

Katie Gallaway, News Section Editor

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A new policy was implemented at the Clark, Kimbrough and Williams stadiums that restricts people from bringing opaque and large bags inside, which started on Sept. 13.

“We had been talking about putting this policy into place for a while,” PISD executive director of safety and security Joseph Parks said. “It was finally implemented this school year.”

According to the PISD Athletics webpage, one clear plastic tote smaller than 12”x12”x6”, one clear resealable plastic storage bag no bigger than a gallon or one hand-sized clutch purse no larger than 5”x7” are the only type of bags that will be allowed in the stadium. Items including backpacks, duffle bags, camera/binocular bags, drawstring bags, coolers, fanny packs or computer bags are not allowed.

“For several years now we’ve had a policy that prohibits backpacks and duffle bags,” Parks said. “The change is that we no longer allow any bags unless an exception exists.”

These exceptions include the approved small clear bags, things needed for medical reasons or bags of students who are part of a group like drill team or band that enter at a designated entrance together.

“This policy is intended to do two things,” Parks said. “One, it makes it more difficult for someone to bring dangerous objects into the stadium, and the other is that because we are restricting the size and type of bags, we expect fewer people will bring bags therefore there won’t be the long lines of having a bag searched.”

The policy won’t just be in effect at Friday night varsity football games.

“Another change is that this policy applies to all levels of play throughout the week,” Parks said.

The bag rule will be enforced by stadium staff, PISD employees and contract security vendors at the respective stadiums. People who come with prohibited bags will not be allowed in and asked to take the bags back to their vehicles.

“I attend my kids’ college football games and have to go through big security checks at those stadiums, so I’m pretty used to it,” alumni parent and PISD school board member Jeri Chambers said. “It’s comforting that PISD is following what other places have put in place at sports stadiums.”

While they agree with the purpose of the policy, some Wildcat fans think it might become a bit of an inconvenience.

“The rule is a valid one since it’s to keep people safe, but it can be a bit of a hassle to deal with, especially as the season gets colder and you want to bring lots of items to keep warm,” senior Emma Nolte said.

However, other fans have not had any issues with the size yet.

“I bought a clear bag for around $8 on Amazon, and I can fit my light fleece Wildcat blanket and a small umbrella inside with no problem,” Chambers said. “You can fit more inside than you think.”

At the games, there are tables set up outside the entrance selling approved clear bags with the school logo for $10.

“It’s not a huge investment at all,” Chambers said. “In my experience, once you get the bag it’s really no big deal.”

 

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