Rowan-Salisbury Schools implements clear-bag policy at sporting events

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, November 29, 2022

As of this week, a new policy is in place that will impact how attendees can carry items into sporting events at Rowan-Salisbury School System sporting events.

Fans at all RSS sporting events will be required to carry their belongings in clear bags as an added safety precaution. 

All bags are subject to search before entry, and after the clear bag is processed, guests will go through a metal-detecting scan to ensure a safe and family-friendly environment inside the event.

According to Dr. Greggory Slate, the chief administrative officer of the school district, the policy officially went into effect on Monday.

Slate indicated that the move mirrors similar policies from local colleges.

“We decided to put our policy in line with Catawba (College) and Livingstone (College) because we have a basketball tournament at Catawba,” Slate said. 

The updated policy represents a minor deviation from the previous safety measures.

“We have used Show Pros and had all of our spectators go through metal detectors and wands at football and basketball events where we get large crowds,” Slate said. “That has been in place for a while, and we searched bags that were being brought in.”

As Slate pointed out, policies are stricter elsewhere.

“Some of our neighboring counties have no-bag policies,” Slate said. “We have not gone that far. Some of the other districts in North Carolina have moved to this clear-bag policy as well.”

The school official hopes that the new policy will provide consistency for traveling fans.

“It will make things simpler,” Slate said. “It also helps when some of our parents go to neighboring counties that have clear-bag policies. It keeps it consistent, and family-focused and safety-focused.”

The bag policy does not currently feature restrictions on size.

“We have not established a size requirement,” Slate said. “We don’t want to see someone bringing in a clear trash bag, but we did not set up a specific size bag for this. Some of the colleges have done that. Catawba does not specify a size, but if you go to a game at Carolina, they have a size for their clear bags. N.C. State has one too, but we did not go as far as to say a specific size for the bag.”

Athletic events will be the only gatherings where the policy will take effect, at least for now. 

“We have not looked at it for theater performances, nor have we had a conversation around graduation because we have not gotten to graduation season,” Slate said. “There will probably be some discussion surrounding it for graduation, but we have not got that far yet.”

Slate remarked that, ultimately, it’s all about the fans. 

“We are trying to make sure we are providing as safe an environment as humanly possible for our families and trying to make sure they have an enjoyable experience when they go to Rowan-Salisbury sporting events,” Slate said.