WCHS new tight athletic regulations force students to go to extreme measures


Photo courtesy of David Kaplan

A news conference was held at the MCPS office on Sept. 21, 2022, revealing the new athletic events security plans. This conference went into detail about athletic event guidelines that have now gone into effect.

By Brianna Frank, Advertising and Subscriptions Manager

Following the fight between the Gaithersburg and Northwest High School football teams and coaches, MCPS has tightened security at all athletic events, specifically football games. The new security rules are significantly more complex and limiting than the previous rules in place. These new rules are not ethical and only cause issues for students during something that should be a fun and enjoyable time. 

Students who do not attend one of the two schools competing in the game need to be accompanied by an adult. A student ID or Synergy account is needed from the guest school students to be allowed to enter the game. Spectators are not admitted after halftime and schools have increased the security present at the games. 

These new rules are currently in place and are classed as tier-one plans. Athletic directors have stated there are tier two and tier three that have been designed in case tier one fails to address the issue. The tiers range as far as closing concession stands and only allowing parents of players at games to having no spectators at all. This would entirely kill the strong school spirit and exciting atmosphere that football games create. 

It has been incredibly easy for students to be able to photoshop student IDs and create fake class schedules. Also, as a result of the new athletic event rules, students from schools that are not one of the two competing schools are creating fake schedules in order to get into games without an adult. This new requirement will not stop determined teenagers from going to an athletic event without an adult. 

Many students attend athletic events for the social aspect of them, not for the actual sport. Events such as football games can be opportunities for students who have friends at different schools to be able to see them. Limiting entry to games is unfair to students who can not get an available adult to come with them. Football games open up opportunities to see and experience something that many students may not get to experience at their own schools.  

While these new rules are for security reasons, they are too controlling to the point where going to football games is too complicated and less enjoyable. Rather than implementing harsh and restricting rules, it would be better to focus the money and attention on something that is actually beneficial for everyone. Metal detectors are one way to prevent weapons like knives from entering football games in the first place. Students from all MCPS schools should be allowed to gain entry to football games by using their school ID even if they are not from one of the competing schools. 

Overall, the new MCPS athletic event security rules are overbearing. It turns what should be a fun social event into a long and complicated hassle.