Deering football practice
Deering High School freshman Dom Bixler takes a handoff during the Rams' first practice of the season Aug. 15. (Portland Phoenix/Greg Levinsky)
advertisementSmiley face

After pushback from community students and families, the Portland school district rescinded a new policy restricting student attendance at sporting events that was put into place just weeks ago.

The policy caught the community off guard when it was announced on Sept. 30, barring students from attending games at public schools where they don’t participate in athletics. All Portland Public Schools high school students are now permitted once again to attend any PPS sporting event, while middle school students still need to be accompanied by a supervising adult.

In the letter addressed to the community from Oct. 20, Assistant Superintendent Aaron Townsend wrote, “we recognize this was a sudden change and we didn’t clearly explain the context for it.” 

The letter explains that in consecutive weekends, over 40 students were involved in conflicts following sporting events, which resulted in multiple students needing medical attention, for incidents ranging from concussion checks to being sprayed with an “eye irritant.”

Students will still be expected to leave promptly after the events, and staff will be sweeping the school perimeters to ensure students have left.

The updated policy will be in effect through the fall playoffs and the winter sports season.

Smiley face