The Rock Hill school district is proposing changes to the way passes are handled at high school athletic events after some questioned the policy’s implementation at the Aug. 22 Northwestern/Byrnes football game at District Three Stadium.
Currently, people older than 65, district retirees and school employees can get into athletic events for free, with the exception of highly attended games, like the Northwestern/Byrnes game, and inter-city football games involving Northwestern, Rock Hill and South Pointe high schools, which have additional pass restrictions.
Under the administration’s proposal, all students in the district, district employees and people older than 65 could get a discounted ticket for $3. All district retirees, who hold VIP passes, will still be able to attend for free.
The change would go into effect this year for the winter sports season. For the rest of the fall sports season, VIP and Club 65 passes would get a person in for free, as would being a district employee, except for the inter-city games. Only employees at the schools participating can get free tickets to those games by going to the athletics office before the game.
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Rock Hill school board members at Monday night’s meeting supported most of the proposal, although some questioned how it could alienate older patrons who tend to be very supportive of the district.
“I wonder if we’re really gaining anything,” said board member Walter Brown. “Sometimes, you can make a rule and cut your nose off to spite your face.”
Board chairman Jim Vining expressed how upset he was with the way the Northwestern/Byrnes game was handled. Several policies were violated, he said.
“This is a serious thing, and I really don’t think the people involved really understand the policy violations,” Vining said. “There were things that were given away that only the board has the right to give away.”
Luann Kokolis, the district’s associate superintendent, said she is taking the proposal back to the schools to seek additional feedback.
Backpack ban discussed
The board and administration also discussed a proposal from the Rock Hill Police Department to ban backpacks and outside beverages at games. Officers have been encountering problems with students concealing alcohol and bringing it to events.
Although board members said they recognizethere will be some criticism and a need for communication about this change, there was support for themeasure.
Pending negotiations with the police department, these changes could be in place by Sept. 19 games.
“We need to move as fast as we can,” Brown said, adding that if the police department was proposing this, there was a good reason for it.