Students locked out at homecoming Game

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By Desiree Velazquez

After being shut out the second half of the Homecoming game, the Indians lost to Simeon 60-13. In the first half, however, it was hundreds of Lane students who were shut out from the stadium.

Because Lane’s side of the stands were at maximum capacity the gates to the stadium were locked by CPS security. Security did not want to let students sit in the Simeon side of the stands over worries of possible student altercations.

In spite of students chanting from outside the stadium, “LET US IN!, LET US IN!” CPS security refused to open the gates.

“I knew the CPS security was just following orders, and Lane had no control over the situation. However, it still made me mad that it is my senior year and I could not even get into my last Homecoming game,” said Krista Kranz, Div. 450.

At halftime, the public address announcer asked adults sitting on Lane’s side of the stadium if they would move to the other side of the field, making room for students who wanted to get in to the stadium. As the crowd thinned out, students were allowed into the stadium and the gates remained open after halftime.

Even though the stadium is called “Lane Stadium” it really is not Lane’s stadium. Rather, it is owned by CPS and run by their Office of Sports Administration who schedule events and hire security for them. However, not many people were aware of this until after the game.

PTSO member, Lance Hassan sent out an email addressing the safety hazard of locking the gates, which not only kept people out but also potentially kept people in. The letter bashed CPS personnel for how they handled the situation.

In the email Hassan wrote, “Their actions, filling half a stadium and locking the gates…LOCKING the gates, no out no in…should at the very least be investigated by the Fire Department.”

The email targeted two member of the CPS administration specifically: Mickey Pruitt, coordinator, and Thomas Trotter, his boss. The email included both Pruitt’s and Trotter’s email addresses and phone numbers and demanded the two “…should not be allowed anywhere near Addison and Western.”

In an effort to tone down the tension, Dr. Dignam met with CPS security and sent out an email to parents and staff. Dignam wrote in the email, “After meeting with Trotter, Safety and Security, and our Network office, I am confident Sports Administration will review protocol and procedures to make certain none of the mistakes made during Friday night’s Homecoming game are repeated.”
Trotter also sent out an email apologizing for the incident saying, “We do recognize Friday’s incident was not appropriate.”

CPS officials attended a PTSO meeting soon after and were conciliatory about the incident. They promised that nothing like this, in particular, the chaining of the gates, would ever happen again. In addition, a number of new protocols were discussed in the event that a capacity crowd like the one at Homecoming occurs.

One change made for the next week’s Senior Night game was that tickets were sold to only 1,000 Lane students. CPS also agreed to work with Lane to coordinate security at the game.

CPS officials also indicated that Lane athletic events are not considered a security problem and that in the future they would open the visitors side of the stadium if the situation warranted it.