Officials with Lexington-Richland School District Five are announcing safety measures for winter sports events in the district.

Among the measures:

Admission will be charged upon entry and re-entry of venues.

All students 8th grade or younger will still be required to attend games with parents or guardians.

School and district officials will continue to coordinate with law enforcement and school officials from opposing teams to ensure the safety of student-athletes traveling to away games.

Other safety measures, including metal detectors and bag checks, will be implemented as determined by safety assessments in coordination with law enforcement.

“Safety and security are top priorities,” said School District Five Superintendent Dr. Christina Melton. “We wanted the public to know that many of the safety measures we implemented this fall will continue for other sporting events in our district. Ensuring safety is a continuous process, and we will continue to take proactive measures and do all we can to keep student-athletes and spectators safe at sporting events.”

The district implemented new safety measures in September, following the evacuation of a football game at Dutch Fork High School’s stadium. Melton noted that the district already had several security measures in place prior to the September incident, including increased law enforcement presence at sporting events and evacuation protocol communicated to key school and district staff. Gameday announcements will now include a brief safety message.

School District Five has taken several steps to ensure safety over the years, including at least one full-time School Resource Officer (SRO) in each school. In addition to SROs, the district has full-time Safety Officers who work with law enforcement on confidential school-level safety plans. More than 360 drills are conducted with schools in the district each year, and Safety Officers provide training for school staff including drills for shelter-in-place, fire and lockout situations.

“Through proactive measures and coordination with law enforcement, the district aims to prevent or minimize the effects of emergencies or serious incidents and to facilitate seamless coordination with police in the event of emergencies,” said Dr. Michael Harris, Chief Planning and Administrative Officer for the district. “We will continue to work to ensure our schools and sporting events remain safe places for our students and community.”

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