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HS Cites Vulgarity in Banning Students from Games

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Students at North Middlesex Regional High School in Massachusetts are not allowed to show school spirit, or their idea of it, at school sporting events until Feb. 1, according to a report by the Nashoba Valley Voice.

Principal Tim McMahon released a statement to announce that the school will “temporarily restrict North Middlesex students from attending all school-related athletic events, both home and away contests.” McMahon’s statement said the reason for this temporary restriction is “due to repeated complaints from our own North Middlesex parents and families, opposing parents, and administrators.”

“Throughout the course of the school year, I have received far too many correspondences from a number of stakeholders regarding our student fans’ inappropriate use of language, taunting behavior, and vulgarity at athletic contests,” said McMahon’s statement, which was circulated among parents Tuesday afternoon. “We have addressed each of these incidences individually, and as a whole, as a means of curtailing inappropriate behaviors by our student spectators.”

The ban is effective immediately. However, students with siblings that are on school sports teams will still be allowed to attend games, though they must be accompanied by their parents and sit with them for the entire game. Junior varsity athletes are expected to go home after they play if their game precedes a varsity game. JV students can stay to watch a following varsity game under their coach’s supervision if both games are away and both teams share a bus to the game.

The principal said the issue has been discussed with the high school athletic director, other administrators and staff representatives from every grade. In addition, McMahon broached the subject in a community newsletter in January.

“Despite our best efforts to encourage reflection and behavior modification at our athletic events, the same problems continue to arise,” his statement read. “I feel it’s critical that students understand that inappropriate behavior is a poor reflection upon themselves, their families, and our school community. Students have consistently been informed that all actions have consequences and, regrettably, these repeated actions have brought us to this point. We can not allow this type of behavior to be a reflection of North Middlesex and our school community.”

The restriction will be revisited by school and district officials Feb. 1.

“This is not a decision that was made lightly or without significant conversation with school and district administration,” McMahon’s statement concluded. “I also understand that it may not be a popular one. That said, I am optimistic that we can get to a point where students are welcomed back into our athletic events in the near future without compromising our expectations for their behavior and decorum.”

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