For many families, Friday nights in the fall are all about attending a good high school football game. Bristol Eastern battled it out at Plainville Friday night, and fans filled the stands.
“It’s the socialization. It’s the camaraderie. It’s the stuff these kids haven’t had because of COVID,” said Bristol parent Kelly Brown.
But the requirements to enter are a bit different from before. Younger students now need an adult with them.
“It’s all about that safety, you know. People can’t be getting hurt out here,” said Bristol Eastern High School student Eli Brown.
In a letter sent out on Thursday, the Plainville superintendent says they’ve seen more middle and elementary school students left unsupervised at high school games and noticed more incidents of misconduct or inappropriate behavior by those students. Officials say large groups of young people are gathering on unlit fields adjacent to the games, and they’ve seen a rise in vandalism and other safety issues in recent weeks. The superintendent says they’re taking a proactive approach by now requiring eighth graders and younger to have an adult with them for games that start after 5 p.m.
“I’m on both sides. I understand both sides,” said Plainville parent Thomas Bouchard.
“I think it’s a good idea. Keep things in check. There are a lot of things people need to be aware of, and kids still need to be watched in some way, shape, or form. I don’t think it’s a bad idea,” said Plainville parent Chris Valenti.
“Safety is a really huge concern, and it should always be the number one priority. I just am concerned about the kids that might not have a parent that can do it. They might be working,” said Kelly Brown.
The final score for Friday night’s game was 21-20, Plainville.