New changes for Dillon County school football games

Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 8:24 AM EDT
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LATTA, S.C. (WMBF) - The first home football game of the Latta schools came with a set of new rules.

The stands were filled, not just to cheer on the team, but also because it is a requirement. Latta students aren’t allowed to mingle in crowds.

The Latta School District said for safety reasons middle school students must be accompanied by an adult.

Students are allowed to make stops in the bathroom or concession stand for snacks, but they cannot congregate in small groups throughout the stadium.

“Shootings, I mean all kinds,” said Elizabeth Seals, a parent of Latta middle and high school students. “With all these stabbings and killings of kids, it just goes through your mind. Not saying it would happen in Latta, but you never know.”

WMBF News spoke to the Latta School Superintendent George Liebenrood, who said after fights during last year’s football games, this new change will serve as a protocol rather than an unfortunate reaction to situations.

“Lots of schools are doing the same thing,” said Liebenrood. “There was a big fight in Greenwood at a jamboree. They implemented this policy. There was a ball game in North Carolina this past weekend, a high school ball game had to be shut down at halftime because of fights with spectators. It’s about crowd control, it’s about safety. The world is different than it was twenty-five years ago. It’s a different place. We got to be proactive, we got to keep our people safe”

The Superintendent said the new practice has been a success after the first JV football game and after recommendations from the Latta schools administration, they decided to bring it to the high school level where crowds were not unmanageable during the games.

Some parents who spoke to WMBF News said they feel indifferent, others like Seals said it’s in place for a good reason.

“I believe it’s a good thing because that way you can spend time with your kids because they’re in school during the day,” she said. “When I take my kids to any kind of practice or games, I don’t leave until it’s over because you can’t trust ay any everybody, and I think it’s a good thing.”