DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Starting Friday, every football fan who walks into Rip Hewes Stadium will have to go through a new weapon detection system.
Dothan is the first school system in the wiregrass to implement the detection system in their schools as well as at their sporting venues.
Although it was already in their plans, they are implementing the new system immediately after there have been several incidents of guns getting into stadiums all over the state and nation.
Administrators say it’s a scare tactic on social media TikTok trend and they need parents to step up and monitor their children and encourage proper behavior in public.
“There are certain things like TikTok that they try to come here and mimic but that creates a problem so we need parents to look at what their kids are watching on social media and have those conversations,” Dr. Dennis Coe said.
With the help of a safety grant, the school system has spent about $20,000 a piece on nine of the portable security units for their schools and sporting events — they will have three of the security units set up at each home game.
“These systems each individual unit can scan a thousand people in 30 minutes they are calibrated to scan weapons and not keys and small things that may be in your pockets that will expedite coming into our games safely,” said Brian Riviere, DHS Assistant Principal.
There’s also a clear bag policy in place for sporting events and they have a visible list of items you cannot take into the stadium.
“If you come in here and it goes off, we will ask you to step aside and check what’s making it go off and that will be of course with the support of our Dothan PD,” Riviere said.
The security has already been implemented at some schools but eventually, it will be in every school. The equipment will also be set up at other sporting events.
“Everybody wants to ensure 100% safety but you can’t do that realistically everything we do implement get us toward that goal to reduce the risk of something bad happening,” Dr. Coe said.
The school system also wants to stress that if a student is below the 9th grade in DCS, that student must enter the game with a parent and he or she must remain with the child at all times during the game.