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Citing Misconduct, District Requires Parental Escorts at Games

Paul Steinbach
Saline

Citing what it called "misbehavior at recent sporting events," Saline (Mich.) Area Schools announced this week that students will not be able to attend any game without a parental escort.

“Saline students will only be permitted entry to winter sport home and away contests if they are accompanied by a legal guardian,” SAS wrote in a Facebook post, as reported by The Sun Times News of Dexter, Mich. “This protocol will be in place through Saturday, January 8, 2022. This will give the administration additional time to assess our protocols to make sure that we phase back in the student section at future athletic events.”

This rule was put into place after what the district called “disrespectful behavior” by a select group of students at a recent away basketball game. As a result of this incident, there will be a one-to-one ratio required for parents to students in the stand at all Saline high school games.

“I thought it was kind of rash for them to automatically make it where no students could come without a legal guardian," Sharene Rumohr, a Saline parent, told The Sun Times News two days after the announcement. "I don’t think it is very fair when it was a few kids — and it seems they already know who the kids were — so I don’t understand why they can’t just punish those kids. I don’t believe in punishing everybody because of the actions of a few.

“I am all for sportsmanship. I just don’t agree that that means now every single kid can’t come to a game without a legal guardian.”

But superintendent Steve Laatsch said that the new temporary rules are an attempt to “reset” the relationship between Saline sports and spectators.

“That is allowing us time to reset how we interact with our student section, talk to them about appropriate behavior, and then come back with a stronger version of our student section after Jan. 8. And to make sure that they know that we really value our student section. They have done a great job of supporting our teams,” Laatsch said Tuesday. “We just need to respond to some of the things that were happening in Bedford and regroup so we are at a better place to support our student section and that everyone has an understanding of the expectations that we have of our students as they support our athletic teams, which they have been doing a good job of. I guess I would say it is a reset and a pause for us to get organized.”

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