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Crowd causes altercations at H-F football game Friday

While Homewood-Flossmoor High School was winning its first football game of the season 47-0 on Friday, the crowd in attendance caused three physical altercations and verbal altercations at the H-F football field.

Superintendent Von Mansfield and Superintendent-elect Scott Wakeley, in an email communication to parents sent Saturday evening, said they were sad and disappointed by the actions of students and stressed that what happened was “unacceptable and will not be tolerated.” At the same time, the administrators thanked parents who have offered their support and feedback to the H-F administration.

As police and staff were trying to deal with the ruckus, “many students (H-F and others) who ran to and from these areas to record the disturbances with their phones created additional issues for staff,” the communication said. The students failed to follow directives, and some were shouting profanity towards staff and police.

“Contrary to what was mentioned on social media, no one was found to be in possession of a weapon and there were no weapons discharged at the game,” the letter said.

“The behavior of these individuals and others in the student section, on the tarmac and outside the stadium is not representative of the expectations that we have as a school, as parents and as a community. This behavior created an unsafe environment for our students, staff and everyone in attendance at the event, which is our highest priority,” the administrators said.

“The disturbances that occurred last evening were caused by individuals who were not there to watch the game and support our students and programs. While we carefully planned for this event and were appropriately staffed, we did not anticipate the number of young people who blatantly disregarded directives from school staff, administrators and police, ran from adults, and were intent on creating an unsafe environment. This behavior was unexpected and disappointing,” Mansfield and Wakeley said.

Future changes will be implemented, including limiting the number of H-F students that may attend an event; and the exclusion of all non-H-F students from the home side.

“These changes and others will be implemented to ensure that our students are able to perform and be celebrated by their parents and families in a positive and safe environment,” the letter explained.

Attending H-F events is a way to mark students’ achievements, see H-F students perform and support the H-F High community, Mansfield and Wakeley said. The told parents they will continue to assess the events of Friday and plan to “share our plans with everyone well in advance of the next large event at our school.”

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