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Recent Incidents at HCPSS Sporting Events

October 13th, 2021

The following statement was issued to Howard County Public School System staff, students, families and community by HCPSS Superintendent Michael Martirano on October 13, 2021:

Like so many of our students, staff and members of our school communities, I have thoroughly enjoyed opportunities this school year to get back out and watch our student-athletes competing in fall athletics. I love to witness the intense competitions that occur, the bands and cheerleaders at our games, and our always-spirited cheering sections! I’m grateful we are able to safely hold athletic contests this fall and appreciate the coaches, volunteers and parents/guardians who help make them happen.

Unfortunately, there have been incidents at several games where some students have crossed the line from showing spirited support to displaying poor sportsmanship. Even worse have been the isolated dangerous incidents where items have been thrown at others.

I want to assure our community that this type of behavior does not go unchecked. Our high school athletic contests are considered extensions of the school day, and behaviors that violate the HCPSS Student Code of Conduct or school system policies are subject to the same disciplinary measures as those that occur during the school day. Any students found to engage in inappropriate, illegal or dangerous behavior including verbal and physical abuse at games are subject to discipline up to the forfeiture of the game itself.

I see wonderful sportsmanship from the vast majority of our students and fans, and it’s unfortunate when actions by an individual or small group ruin the experience for others. Let’s continue to enjoy the games, cheer for our teams, and treat our opponents, coaches, band members and officials with the civility that everyone deserves.

I’ll conclude by echoing a similar statement read by many of our PA announcers before each sporting event: I ask you to please show respect for players, band members, and cheerleaders, respect for coaches, respect for officials, and respect for those around you. Players, coaches and fans – let’s all remember to respect the game.

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