St. Charles Parish School district bans large bags at sports events

Any brought to middle and high school sports events could be searched

Targeting events with the most crowds, St. Charles Parish Public Schools has implemented the “bag protocol” for football, basketball or softball events at middle and high schools.

The policy is effective immediately.

Anyone coming to these events should attend with see-through bags of any size or plain bags no larger than 8-1/2 inches by 11 inches or be allowed to have small clutch bags with or without a handle or strap.

“Safety and security are top priorities for our district,” said Superintendent Felecia Gomez-Walker. “Across the country, similar bag protocols are being used to increase safety for all patrons, and we want to provide that same level of safety for fans at our athletic events with large crowds.”

The move came after school district personnel held their routine meeting to evaluate existing policies, practices and procedures in accordance with safety and security. As part of this review, implementing the bag protocol was recommended, which school officials say was done as a proactive measure to enhance safety and contribute to an “enjoyable fan experience.”

The bag protocol has become part of the new visitor management screening program being implemented at district schools.

School District spokeswomen Stevie Crovetto said sports events were singled out for the security measure because “these events have the largest crowds where we experience a high volume of community members on our campuses.”

Sporting events are the first step in initial implementation, Crovetto said, adding, this policy could be expanded to include other events in the future.

Prohibited items include coolers, backpacks, duffle bags and any non-see-through bags larger than the permissible size.Exceptions to the policy include medically necessary bags or diaper bags, which may be subject to inspection at the entrance gate.

All bags may be subject to search by the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Smart phones, tablets, seat cushions or seat backs can still be carried into the event on their own. The restriction applies to the type of container used to carry these items.


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