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Kuemmel's Corner: Elementary and middle school students need guardian at football games

As I have said on many occasions, we encourage all fans to come out to support our teams.

While I do not want to discourage younger students from supporting our Wolfpack teams, the reality of the situation is that many of these young students have little interest in the games. Social interaction with their peers is of a high priority when they are in attendance, and this seems especially true at football games. They usually see very little (if any) of these games. This creates a problem in providing a safe environment for the students, spectators, and participants. Several incidents were caused in the past by unsupervised youth that distracted from the event and resulted in injuries to bystanders.

As a result of this problem, we will again this year enforce the following policy: No elementary or middle school students will be admitted to a Park High School home football game unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. This rule has been adopted by several other schools in our conference and in the metro area.

I encourage all parents to discuss this policy with their children before bringing them to the games. If students enter the gates with their parents, we would expect that they sit with them throughout the entire game. Students who loiter in the area just in front of the concession stand often cause a problem for the other fans who are there to watch the game. We also encourage these younger students to come to watch football, as opposed to playing football in the small grassy areas at the stadium.

I hope parents can help us enforce this policy. I also highly encourage ninth grade students to bring their student ID with them, because many of the high school staff working the games may not recognize these students early in the school year.

Thank you for helping us provide a safer, more positive environment at our football games and for your support of the Wolfpack.

Patrick Johnson
Patrick Johnson has been the South Washington County Bulletin’s sports editor since 2008. He reports on and oversees coverage of high school and amateur sports in south Washington County and Woodbury. Prior to joining the Bulletin, Johnson worked for other Twin Cities suburban newspapers. He is a University of Minnesota graduate.
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