COLUMBIA, S.C. — Richland School District 2 has notified parents and the community of changes to safety measures at athletic events.
These new rules come after a fight broke out at a Spring Valley football game against Ridgeview High last Friday night. The large brawl happened near the concession stands on the Spring Valley side of the stadium where several teens from both schools got involved. The chaos of the fight frightened fans who started running out of the stadium. Seven teenagers have now been arrested in connection to the fight.
Ashley Gunn and her mother Tiffany left the game moments before the fight broke out.
"In a five-minute span I had gotten 3 calls.. so it was kind of scary for me knowing that I wasn't there but my friends could have been in danger," Gunn said.
Will Anderson, the Chief Operations Officer with the district says they are working to make sure violence like this stays out of their athletic events.
"A high school football game should be a positive atmosphere but we want to make sure that just like they have to do at school that they have their student I.D... and we also want to make sure that they have supervision," Anderson explained.
The district sent parents an email on Wednesday afternoon to explain the new rules.
With the update, all Richland Two high school students must have a ticket and show their school student ID to attend a game without a parent/guardian. All students must enter through a student gate. If the visiting team is not a Richland Two school, students from that school must show their school ID and have a ticket in order to be able to attend the event without a parent/guardian. Anyone else under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian or responsible adult. Also, face coverings that completely cover a person’s face are not allowed.
As for during the game, you can not enter at halftime, hang out at concession areas, or get a snack after the third quarter. Spectators must now stay at their seats except when they are going to the restrooms or to concession stands.
Tiffany says she appreciates the district's quick response but is unsure how the new rules will help stop the violence.
"I'm glad they did something now instead of waiting," Tiffany Gunn said. "You can't stop fights from happening but there are always things you can do to taper it down."
The new rules will be in effect for football games this Friday night. Spring Valley will take on Richland Northeast in an away game this Friday, kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.