Chicago schools to ban fans from some games

January 23, 2009 2:57:34 PM PST
A fan ban goes into effect at high school basketball games in Chicago.The security crackdown comes following several violent confrontations.

In addition to restrictions on fans, Chicago Public School officials are taking additional measures to maintain order at the games.

The latest incident took place last Tuesday night when a player from North Lawndale Academy was shot during a post-game altercation.

"This is nothing to take away the power of an administrator, this is just something to ensure safety at these events," said Calvin Davis, CPS Sports Administration.

Calvin Davis is laying out his game plan to make games safer. The top sports administrator for Chicago Public Schools is taking tougher measures to prevent violent outbursts at school events.

"The safety of our students and cps community is paramount to everything we do," said Davis.

Davis' announcement on Friday follows roughly two weeks of violent incidents at several high school basketball games.

Two of them happened earlier this week, on Tuesday. In one instance, a basketball player from North Lawndale Prep was shot in the leg after the game.

In another, a game between Simeon and Bogan was stopped because of a fight in the stands. And two weeks ago.. A shooting outside dunbar high school after a game left 5-people injured.

So on Friday, Davis implemented changes to help with security measures such as moving all boys varsity basketball games to 4 p.m.; not allowing fans from opposing teams into the game unless they have been given permission from the opposing school's principal;and barring fans from an opposing team if there has been a history of violence between the schools.

"The problems seem to be when students are randomly attending separately and not being screened. They're not a part of a group," said Davis.

Davis calls the violent outbursts "isolated incidents," and says there are many benefits to CPS athletic programs.

"We found that the student athletes have had higher attendance percentage, higher grade point averages, higher graduation rates and fewer discipline referrals," said Davis.

Davis goes on to say that the district keeps tabs on "high alert" games, games between schools with a history of conflict. In those cases, the police are notified, who then establish a presence outside of the game.

Davis recently asked every high school to revise its security plans to include giving the police a schedule of every game.