TOLEDO, Ohio — Toledo Public Schools have announced new safety procedures for the 2019 high school basketball season.
TPS says the changes are being made with the safety and security of students, staff, families and spectators in mind.
The changes for this season are as follows:
- Doors will open 30 minutes prior to the first game of the night
- Freshman games will begin at 4:45 p.m.
- If there is no freshman game, then the first game will be the junior varsity game, which will begin at 6 p.m.
- Students who attend one of the participating schools must show their school ID for admission to the game. Students without a valid ID will not be admitted.
- Spectators who are not students will be asked to show valid ID
- Metal detectors will be used at all TPS home basketball games
- TPS elementary students/younger spectators must be accompanied by an adult at all times
- Students who attend other TPS high schools or other local schools must be accompanied by an adult to attend the game
- Tickets will only be sold at the gate – no presale tickets sold at schools
- No ticket sales after the end of the 2nd quarter of the varsity game (Varsity Games begin at 7:30 PM)
- There will be no re-entry to the field house or gymnasium
- The student dress code must be followed at athletic events, meaning no gang-related attire, no masks or facial coverings or memorial t-shirts or clothing
- No backpacks or large bags will be permitted into the field house or gymnasium– all spectators and their belongings are subject to being searched
The school says officers from the TPS Department of Public Safety and school personnel reserve the right to refuse entrance to any student or spectator.
TPS recently updated the safety plan of their high school football games after reports of shots fired at a Woodward High School game.
"Having to show an ID and only students who attend the schools that are participating is the biggest change," district transformational leader Linda Meyers said.
Meyers, as well as parents and students, say security is one thing they can't afford to be weak on.
"It makes me feel a little safer," Bowsher High School student Mickey Kier said, "because at least I know that they're worried about our safety for the students and staff that are there at the games."
"I had no idea you'd need this much security," spectator Samuel Marshall said, "but I understand why you know they have to show force, they have to discourage people who want to do bad things so they really don't have any choice."
Students from schools not playing in a game can still attend but only with an adult. That's a move students believe goes a little too far
"That's a little excessive," I think they should have the school ID and if they have something, they should be searched too"
"I understand how they feel but shootings are a reality," Hancock added. "We can't get away from them. You know and I believe the students are just going to have to, you know get with the program."
Below are other area schools' statuses on their procedures:
- Perrysburg: No procedure changes.
- Springfield: No major changes. Possibly adding an additional police officer at games.
- Washington Local: No procedure changes.
- Central Catholic: No discussion specifically about basketball games yet. They will be discussing possible safety changes before first home game.
- Oregon: Increased security and supervision due to gun scare during football season, but no drastic changes.
- Sylvania Southview: No response yet.
- Sylvania Northview: Increased police presence. Will continue to promote "If you see something, say something" message to fans before games.