PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland School District is changing who can go to certain high school games because of fights.
It’s a big change to school sporting events that some students and parents say is a bad call, especially since the fan experience is a big part of the game.
“It’s exciting when you play,” Mohammed Turki, who graduated from Deering High School, said.
But in a letter to families, the district said that starting this week, high school students will only be allowed to go to their own school’s games.
It means that Portland High students can only attend Portland High games. Deering High students can only attend Deering High games.
The only exception is for Casco Bay students. Those students can go to games for whichever school they compete for or go with a parent or guardian.
Middle school students can go to any game with a legal guardian.
“I think me and a lot of other people saw it coming. So it wasn’t a huge surprise,” Deering High School junior Tim Callaghan said.
Callaghan said that he’s heard of issues happening at both Deering and Portland high school games.
“I have seen stuff during the volleyball games and during the soccer games,” Callaghan said.
He said that the issue has been more disruptive fans, but he knows there have been fights.
“I feel like they shouldn’t do it to everybody,” Deering High School alumnus David Kita said. “I feel like they should just punish the people who did it.”
Others think there’s a real sense of community from the fan experience, one they wouldn’t have under this policy.
One parent questioned how the district would enforce this new rule.
That wasn’t addressed in the letter to families and the district would not comment on the matter.
A spokesperson said the issue will be discussed during a school board meeting next Tuesday.