Wauwatosa School District sets new security measures after two fights this week

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WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Violence at and near high school football games prompting school districts to take action. Tonight, on Sept. 16, fans are starting to see changes related to safety.

Fans attending tonight's varsity game of Wauwatosa West against Pius, were among the first to go through tighter security measures here. It's a new district-wide policy.

Friday night lights is a rite of passage, and one that is continuing despite recent violence on high school campuses.

"It's a little alarming. I was surprised to hear it. I didn't expect that and I'm happy to hear that security's been heightened for the game. That's a good idea. I appreciate that," said parent Carrie Rudolph.

This was the scene last week at Hart Park when a fight broke out during the Wauwatosa East-Milwaukee Lutheran game. Police arrested four, including three juveniles.

"It was crazy. Were you there? Yes. What was that like? It was scary because like the officers, my mama tried to get me and the officers pushed my mama back because I guess somebody brought a gun there," said student Taylor Butler.

Racine Unified is implementing tighter security too after a 16-year-old leaving their Friday night football game between Horlick and Oak Creek last week was shot. Now, you can no longer purchase tickets at the gate in Racine, only on the ticket Spicket app or website. And the stadium will close 30 minutes after the game.

"I think it's a good idea based on the recent events and I think that security's important and the safety of our children and families are important and I just hate that it's come to this," said parent Alisha Miller.

Wauwatosa's superintendent Demond Means was at this Friday night lights, along with a number of additional spectator volunteers, ensuring fans remain on their respective sides - home versus away.

"Some of the new safety measures are to make sure we're doing our due diligence, that we have supervision that is really visible and you saw as you walked in a lot of our supervisors were in t-shirts and were very visible," said Dr. Demond Means, Wauwatosa schools superintendent.

In addition - no more large backpacks at Wauwatosa games - except for diaper bags and medical bags and bags carried in by students performing at the event.

"Now my grandson's going here and he's been playing sports and any sports event I've ever been to of his, I've never seen any altercations, never seen any fighting, but the times is changing," said Gwendolyn Davis, alumni and grandparent of current student.

If you leave the game for any reason, you can't get back in. And everyone must be out of the stadium 15 minutes after the game ends. Middle schoolers should be accompanied by an adult.

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