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4J paying for security to keep spectators away from games

Spectators are not allowed on the sidelines, bleachers or along the fence line, but families can watch from their cars in the parking lot or via livestream.

Posted: Mar 1, 2021 1:24 PM
Updated: Mar 2, 2021 9:27 AM

EUGENE, Ore. — Eugene Police and other security personnel will be present at high school games in Eugene School District 4J, working to keep spectators away to ensure COVID-19 safety.

Following guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and OSAA, the district will be providing campus security during these games, in addition to paying officers.

According to a district spokesperson, spectators are not allowed on the sidelines, bleachers or along the fence line. Families are allowed to be in their cars in the parking lot.

Parents told KEZI they were confused at this decision.

"We were shocked actually when we heard there was going to be police presence at the schools," said Sandi Sperry, a parent of two students at Sheldon High School. "They were the ones who eliminated police from schools this year. Now they're basically threatening parents from getting into the venue."

Several parents also left comments on our Facebook page. "So we kick EPD out of schools but they can be there to ensure parents can't be by the fencing," one user said. Another wrote: "What a waste of taxpayer money."

The district has set up a livestreaming option to watch games via devices.

Both Bethel and Springfield school districts will provide streaming options through the NFHS platform.

Bethel School District said a School Resource Officer and employees will be on campus at Willamette High School to help enforce the mandate.

Springfield School District said they have not hired any additional security at this time as they do not anticipate any challenges.

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