ECHS releases bag policy for upcoming basketball games

Published 3:24 pm Wednesday, November 29, 2023

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Escambia County High School officials on Tuesday released approved, non-approved bags and prohibited items for all upcoming basketball games.

The approved bags include 12-by-6-by-12-inch clear plastic bag or a 1-gallon plastic freezer bag. Wallets, billfolds, clutches larger than 1-by-4.5 inches by 8.5 inches are prohibited, according to ECHS.

Non-approved bags include backpacks, binoculars case, camera case, clear backpack, tinted plastic bag, printed pattern plastic bag, fanny pack, purse, seat cushion with pockets, oversized tote bag, diaper bag and mesh bag.

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Prohibited items include weapons of any kind, umbrellas, fanny packs, backpacks, briefcases, computer bags, luggage (all types), selfie sticks, remote controlled drones or devices, tobacco products of any kind, e-cigarettes, illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, outside food or drinks, fireworks and smoke-producing devices, artificial noisemakers, all animals (except certified, leashed service animals), helium-filled balloons and inflated balls.

Additionally, all persons attending the game will be checked using metal detectors by administrators, school resource officers or local law enforcement.

There will be no re-entry at any time of the event; no loitering in the lobby unless purchasing concessions or using the restroom.

Any spectator entering the court at any time during the game will be escorted out.

Law enforcement will be posted at the entry and inside the games.

The visiting team will park buses at the back of the gym, and will enter/exit at the back of the gym.

Assistant Superintendent George Brown said every school has an EOP, or emergency operation plan.

Brown said the plan outlines what to do when you have a certain crisis event that happens.

“It’s uploaded into a portal online,” Brown said. “I have, local law enforcement and the Alabama High School Athletic Association has access to it.”
Brown added that drills are performed school-system wide, including severe weather (shelter in place), lockdown and fire.

Additionally, there are multiple trainings that are required from the state for bullying prevention, dealing with suicide and mandatory reporter training for all teachers.

Brown said there are other details regarding the safety plan they’ll not go into for safety purposes.

According to Advance archives, a weapon discharged during a basketball game Nov. 9 at ECHS.

Sheriff Heath Jackson said in a release that ECSO deputies, along with Atmore Police Department officers responded to a report of a weapon being discharged inside of Cornell Torrence Gymnasium.

The weapon was discharged at approximately 1:20 to go in the third quarter of the varsity girls’ basketball game against Monroe County.

“A preliminary investigation lead to the determination that a small group of individuals entered the gym area and that one of the young men was concealing a handgun in his waistband,” Jackson said. “The firearm fell from the suspect’s pants and hit the ground causing the gun to discharge. Two people in the group later showed up at area hospitals for treatment for what appeared to be wounds from bullet fragments.”

Due to the weapon discharge, the varsity boys game was canceled.

According to the ECSO’s jail log, LaCarlos Thomas, 19, of Atmore, was arrested for discharging a firearm into a building or train and certain persons forbidden to possess a firearm, according to the ECSO.