Upper Darby School District enacts new procedures at school Wrestling and Boys and Girls Basketball Games to ensure the safety of its student athletes, visiting student athletes, students, staff and spectators
The Upper Darby School District is committed to ensuring the health, safety and well-being of its students, staff, and visitors at its athletic events. In keeping with this commitment, the District continues to evaluate its safety practices in all school settings.
In an effort to clear up some inaccuracies and/or incomplete information reported in the media recently, Upper Darby School District is releasing this communication as the District’s official statement regarding the changes to the student and visitor entry at winter sporting events. To provide a place for District and visitor student athletes to display their talent and for students, visitors and community members to attend games in a safe environment, the District has established a new procedure to better manage the behavior of some spectators and visitors at District sporting events.
During a December 17th boys varsity basketball game, an altercation started in the crowd and interrupted the game. The incident did not involve any athletes from either team. District security, administration and police were able to escort those involved out of the building. At the conclusion of the game, the police had to call for assistance from Haverford Township and Lansdowne Borough in order to control altercations that began to break out off of campus. Upper Darby School District appreciates the support of local law enforcement.
“I understand that there is much upset and frustration on social media about our decision to re-evaluate our procedures and admittance process for winter sports,” states Dr. Daniel P. McGarry, Superintendent of Schools. “The December 17th incident was embarrassing, and it is certainly not something we want to represent our school district or community. I called the Superintendent of the other school District and apologized for the incident. Our plan is to provide a safe, secure, and positive atmosphere. Members of the public can certainly attend our sporting events, but we have a new process for students and non-students.”
Here is the District’s new plan:
- Designated student seating section
- Designated visitor seating section
- Opposing team fans must sit in the visitor section.
- Strong visible police presence. Police have been assigned to previous sporting events as well. We will continue to work with police to increase police presence at the events when necessary.
- Alumni can attend but are not permitted to sit in the student section.
- FOR STUDENTS (UDSD and VISITING): Only students with school-issued IDs and who are eligible to attend school events will be allowed to purchase a ticket at the event. Students are able to pre-purchase tickets with district-issued student ID during the school day. [ETA: Tickets are available in the Athletic Department during lunch periods the day of the event.] Students must arrive to the sporting event with their district-issued photo ID. Non-UDSD students must arrive with their District’s school photo ID to purchase the $5.00 tickets at the door. [ETA: UDSD students with student IDs may also purchase $5 tickets at the gate.]
- Pre-approved Spectator List: Prior to each sporting event, the Upper Darby School District team and the visiting team will submit a list of approved parents and family members who plan to attend the game. Those on the list will not require additional approval to purchase a ticket at the gate. Anyone not on the pre-approved spectator list may still enter the game with the purchase of a $5.00 ticket at the door and approval by either Upper Darby District personnel or by personnel from the visiting team.
- Upper Darby School District personnel are posted at the door.
- Students are not allowed to bring backpacks and/or large bags to sporting events.
- Outside food and drinks are not allowed at sporting events.
It is the expectation of the Upper Darby School District that anyone attending an event display proper decorum. Students must act in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct at District-sponsored events. It is important to the District that it provides a safe environment where student athletes can display their talent and where visitors can enjoy the game. Students who violate the District Code of Conduct will be disciplined in accordance with District policy. Students and visitors could also be subject to criminal prosecution by the Upper Darby Police for any violation of the PA Crimes Code. The District will reevaluate this process and provide an update if further changes are made. The Upper Darby School District thanks all stakeholders for their consideration and feedback as it continues to provide the best Opportunities for its students to reach Excellence.