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Pasco schools to ‘tweak’ sporting event security rules

Bug spray, gum among items now to be allowed in to the games.
Pasco High School's Jordyn Kadlub (7) takes control and eventually scores during the January 2017 semifinal Class 3A, District 7 contest. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times
Published Dec. 11, 2018

Following highly publicized shootings at or near high school football games elsewhere in Florida, the Pasco County school district this past fall tightened security measures for crowds attending middle and high school sporting events.

Along with banning most bags, the district prohibited other items including outside food. The implementation drew rebukes from some parents, who found some of the rules too exacting and sometimes too difficult to follow.

Related coverage: Gum is not a food: Pasco schools seek 'common sense' tweaks to football game security 

District officials said they would revise the procedures in response to the concerns. They released the updates on Monday.

Among them:

– Small clutch-sized handbags will now be allowed in, although they will be subject to searches.

– Outside food remains banned. But adults may bring in sealed non-alcoholic beverages. Gum and mints will not be considered food.

– Pump and spray insect repellent will be permitted.

Ticket sales will still end after the third quarter of a game, and re-entry will not be permitted.

District security director Chris Stowe advised school officials that these rules remain open to further review, and are not etched in stone.

"The expectation is that school administrators can apply common sense to case by case situations in order to provide a safe and enjoyable sporting event for their patrons," he wrote in a memo that went out Monday.

The updated rules are to take effect with the new semester in January, district spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said.