Groveport Madison institutes safety and security measures


By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Groveport Madison Schools officials have implemented safety measures to enhance security at school events.

The actions are taken in response to incidents that have occurred at school events that have included fights, the confiscation of guns, and arrests.

“Many of our rules have stayed the same including gates closing at the end of second quarter, the no bag policy, no re-entry, and no loitering,” said Groveport Madison Communications Director Kaitlin Duncan. “The only new safety rule we’ve truly implemented is the Evolv screening detectors. We plan on using the Evolv system at as many events as we can on our high school campus.”

When asked if there have been any discussions of changing the start times of the home varsity football games to 6 p.m. or moving them to Saturday afternoons, Duncan said, “No, at this time we will continue to keep our varsity football games on Friday evenings.”

She said Groveport Madison Schools officials thank the students, staff, and community for their cooperation as the district implements new measures “to keep everyone safe.”

“A big thank you to Madison Township Police, Canal Winchester Schools administration and athletic department, and our own Groveport Madison High School Administration and Safety and Security team for their outstanding response (during the incidents where guns were confiscated and arrests made at the Aug. 18 football game at Canal Winchester – none of the arrests involved Groveport Madison or Canal Winchester students),” said Duncan. “There was a lot of planning and collaboration that went into making that game successful, and it’s one of the main reasons we were able to handle that situation. The overall goal for all these organizations is to keep our community safe and we will work together to make that happen.”

Groveport Madison Superintendent Jamie Grube sent a letter to families regarding safety procedures for the home football games.

“We are excited to have your support at our upcoming Friday Night Football games,” wrote Grube. “To ensure the safety and enjoyment of all attendees, we have put in place a series of safety procedures and guidelines.”

According to Grube’s letter, these procedures are:

Safety measures
•Enhanced security. All attendees of athletic events at Groveport Madison High School are required to enter through the Evolv weapons detection system upon entry to the stadium. Anyone who causes an alert upon entry is subject to a full search. Safety personnel will be stationed strategically throughout the venue to monitor entrances, exits, and crowd behavior, ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for all.

•No bag policy. Bags or purses larger than 5″ x 8″ x 1” re not permitted in the Groveport Madison High School football stadium. Wallets and wristlets no larger than 5″ x 8″ x 1″ are permitted. If you set off the alarm on the Evolv weapons detection system, you will be searched.

•Student/Family Attendance Policy. High school students will be asked to produce a student ID to enter the game. Non-students will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardians. Young adults that can produce an ID and indicate who they are attending to see may enter the game. Any student/child that appears to be in middle school or younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and that person is responsible for that child.

Once in the stadium, all spectators must remain in the bleachers unless using the restroom, or getting items from the concession stand. All students younger than middle school must have a parent accompany them to the concession stands or the restroom.

There will be no admittance or purchase of tickets after the end of the second quarter. Parents and special circumstances will be considered; see a Groveport Madison High School administrator at the gate.

Horseplay, insubordination, and disrespect will not be tolerated. Anyone partaking in these acts will be given one warning. If anyone partaking in the acts continues after the first warning, they will be asked to leave the stadium.

Student dress code
Students should follow the dress code stated in the Groveport Madison Schools Student Handbook.

•Ski masks or decorative masks will not be allowed. If you choose to wear a mask, it must be a medical grade mask.

Tickets and entry
•Arriving early will help facilitate a smooth and safe entry process.

“We encourage the use of digital tickets, however there will be an option to purchase tickets with cash at the gate,” wrote Grube. “Digital tickets can be purchased at:”

•There will be no re-entry during the same game/event. No refunds will be issued to anyone who has been asked to leave or has been removed from an event.

Exiting the stadium
“We ask for your patience and cooperation as we facilitate an organized exit after the game,” wrote Grube. “Please follow the instructions of stadium staff for a safe departure. If you have any questions or concerns during the event, please seek assistance from our event staff or security personnel. We look forward to sharing this exciting evening of football with you while prioritizing the safety of our community. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.”

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