Students of the Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School District will now need either a student ID or an adult supervisor to attend sporting or ceremonial events of the district.

During a special called meeting Wednesday, the Consolidated School Board approved revisions to its policy regarding student conduct. The rules of the revised policy are now in effect.

Students in grades 9 to 12 must present their student IDs to attend a sporting or ceremonial event of the school district. Otherwise, they must have an adult, age 21 or older, to accompany them.

Dr. Mary Brown, the superintendent, said the district ordered ID machines and will receive them soon in order to make IDs for all of the high school students.

Students from pre-kindergarten through grade 8 will require an adult, age 21 or older, in order to attend sporting or ceremonial events. Students outside of the Consolidated School District, regardless of grade, will need to be accompanied by an adult, age 21 or older, to attend such events.

Brown said the school district would inform other districts of these new rules prior to the events.

Students are not to loiter in areas outside of their seats and should not leave their seats unnecessarily, in part because that would prevent other attendees from enjoying the event. Students who don’t follow the district’s rules will be asked to leave by local law enforcement and school district security on the scene. If a student continually violates rules, that student may be suspended from attending future district events.

The rules were approved in light of incidents that occurred at recent football games.

Last Friday, a student under the age of 18 brought a firearm to Greenwood High School’s home football game.

Late last month, during a game at Bulldog Stadium, a female student and a school security officer got into an altercation.

In addition, other unattended minor students, some who either loiter near the concession stand or move about through the stands, have been an issue.

Before the board approved the new rules, board members and the superintendent debated what should be the student’s cutoff age for requiring adult supervision.

Initially, Brown proposed that students under the age of 16 should be required to be in the company of an adult.

Board member Antwoine Williams agreed with Brown that rambunctious students should be kicked out of events but disagreed with her suggested cutoff age.

Bringing up freshman students, Williams said, “I don’t want to stop the kids that are in high school from enjoying their high school games.”

He said that he would hate “for one or two people who have no interest in athletics” to ruin the experience for other students and also said that students who get in fights are 16 or older.  

Brown, who was present at last week’s football game, said she saw unsupervised students “openly defiant” when asked by local law enforcement to behave, as well as students walking back and forth through the stands.

“It’s just disorder, period. It’s chaotic,” she said. “We do want to protect our kids, but we want to protect adults, too, if something occurs.”

In addition, Brown said that it may be problematic when the school district has to kick out an unsupervised minor student, asking, “Where do they go to?”

She said that the district may not be able to reach the parents of these students to have them pick up the students, leaving the possibility that the school district may have to readmit these students to the game in order for them to be safe.

Following the end of a game, Brown said, some unsupervised minor students are still on district premises waiting for adults to pick them up.

Kelvin Pulley, the school district’s attorney, agreed with Brown’s assessment, saying that the school district could be liable if anything happens to an underage student without someone to safely take him or her home.

Dr. Kalanya Moore, a board member, also agreed with Brown’s proposal, even suggesting that the requirement for adult supervision should be for students under 18.

“I think they need adults,” Moore said.

The school board also voted 3-1 to appoint Anthony Gilmore, who was not at the meeting, to fill the vacancy on the board. Moore cast the dissenting vote.

Gilmore, who resides in Leflore County’s District 5, will serve through the end of December. He has children who attend the school district and is a sales district leader for Pepsi, said Samantha Milton, president of the board.

The school board had been one member short of its five-member team since the end of June, when Deirdre Mayes resigned.

Milton said an opinion from the state’s Attorney General’s Office said the appointee must reside in District 4 or 5.

Two residents of District 5 expressed interest in the temporary board position, Milton said.

After the meeting, Moore said that she voted no because she wanted to allow more time for residents of  District 5 to express interest in the position.

She then said she’ll go with the consensus of the board.

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

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