New Policy for Middle Schoolers at Sports Games

Our+school%27s+student+section+during+an+away+game+at+James+Madison+High+School.

Quinlan Montgomery

Our school's student section during an away game at James Madison High School.

Sam Quinn, Sentry Staff Reporter

Now that the football and field hockey seasons have drawn to a close, the basketball team has begun their winter trek. Due to the major popularity draw of many varsity sports games, middle school students sometimes attend, which can be a probable issue of immaturity, safety and responsibility. This has led to a unanimous agreement between principals to create a new precautious rule that requires students in the eighth grade and below to have a parent or guardian present while attending high school games.

Assistant Principal Scott McKeown attended every home varsity football game this past season to show his support and ensure the students’ actions fall under the Respect Others, Community, Self (ROCS) motto. Even though McKeown had nothing to do with the creation of this rule, he has his own input on the matter. 

“It’s probably useful for the occasional middle school kid who needs a little more adult supervision. I think it’s a shame that sometimes the behavior of a few kids kind of ruins it for other folks, but I understand where it’s coming from,” McKeown said.

McKeown was asked for an example of an incident he has witnessed at games which constituted the shaping of this rule.

“This was something that apparently stemmed from some incidents that have happened at other [high] schools. To be terribly honest, we have been pretty fortunate here at Yorktown, where we really haven’t had any incidents,” McKeown said.

Enzo Catanzaro is an eighth grader at Swanson Middle School. Though he doesn’t attend any high school football games, he has quite a few friends that do. Catanzaro’s opinion on the matter is in favor of middle schoolers. 

“I feel like eighth graders shouldn’t have to bring their parents. If they are being rowdy then they can get kicked out or talked to but most eighth graders are there to just enjoy the game and watch with friends,” Catanzaro said.

McKeown, being part of APS staff, shows his support to the new policy change.

“There is a level of maturity that sometimes isn’t there [with eighth graders]. This policy change is a proactive measure to make sure they don’t get presented with some bad decisions because they are maybe not used to the level of independence high school kids have,” McKeown said.

This new policy has created quite a stir in the middle school student community as these students want to be independent and have fun without their parents watching over them. The question that arises is are middle schoolers mature enough to be at these high school sports games, which can get hectic at times, without adult supervision. Even though the high school administrators and middle school students do not see eye to eye on this policy, at least they both agree that a few rotten apples spoil the bunch.