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Security Screening for Large Events

Parents, Guardians, and community members,

To best provide students, parents, staff, and spectators a safe experience at after-school events, SMCPS requests your cooperation in implementing new security measures. 

Beginning with fall sports for the school year 2023 - 2024, SMCPS is implementing procedures for school staff members and on-site law enforcement officers to identify prohibited items and reduce the likelihood of contraband being on a school campus. Prohibited items include weapons, laser pointers, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and electronic cigarettes. Outside food, drinks, and non-service animals are also prohibited.

SMCPS has also implemented a no-bag policy. No bags of any size (backpacks, purses, tote bags, camera bags, etc.) will be permitted. Guests will be required to return bags to their vehicle before entering an event. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis for medical/personal care needs.

SMCPS contends that implementing such a procedure will make it quicker and easier for school staff members and on-site law enforcement officers to identify prohibited items and reduce the likelihood of contraband entering the stadium. 

FAQs Regarding Security Screening:

The following are frequently asked questions (FAQs) that will assist us all in enhancing security for events and are provided for your consideration.

At what events will the no bag procedure be encouraged?

The new procedures will be in place at all varsity football and basketball games and other events as deemed appropriate.

Can attendees carry cameras, binoculars, smartphones, or tablets separately from what they put in a clear bag?

Yes.  Binoculars or cameras can be carried into the event venue as long as they are carried by hand.  Bags designed specifically to carry these items would be subject to wanding and visual inspection at the point of entry.  

What happens if I arrive at the event with a bag that requires inspection?

Carried items not meeting the requested specifications will require wanding of the items at the point of entry.  A trained school staff member will assist with this process.  Bags cannot be left unattended anywhere on the campus.  You will be permitted to return to your vehicle to store items you cannot bring to the event.

If I have certain medically necessary items that I need to bring into the event that will not fit in a clear bag, what do I do?

An exception will be made for all medically necessary items after proper inspection.  A school staff member at the gate will be able to assist with these situations.

Are all purses subject to inspection?

No.  Small clutch purses are permitted with or without a handle or strap.  We encourage attendees to attend the games by limiting the items they carry into the event.   This procedure has been created to balance attendees' needs with public safety.

What happens if a gun, knife, or other prohibited item is found in a bag during an inspection?

As before, on-site law enforcement officers will be immediately notified if any contraband is located on school property.  Guns, knives, drugs, and alcohol are all prohibited on campus.

Will the media or student-athletes participating in the event be allowed to bring bags into the venue?

Yes.  Members of the media with a press credential will be allowed to bring equipment bags into the venue; however, they are subject to inspection.  School staff and student-athletes actively participating in the event at the venue may also carry their equipment bags; however, they are also subject to inspection.

In closing...

As in the past, we will continue implementing safety and emergency response measures for all after-school events. 

Additional Information

For more information, contact the Department of Safety and Security at 301-475-5511 ext. 32238.