County Schools Bans Bags, Standing at Games

A basketball and a ring

Bags, pocketbooks, backpacks and standing at all county sporting events are no longer allowed.

Count Schools Spokesman Kelly Jones said the new policy is designed to improve safety at ball games, and is not a response to the panic at the recent West Columbus-Whiteville game, or any other incident.

“This policy was not implemented in direct response to a specific event,’ Jones said in an email. “Our ongoing commitment to enhancing the safety of our facilities led us to identify this precautionary measure.”

Play was halted at the Viking-Wolfpack game when frightened spectators ran out onto the floor. The gym was cleared and searched by law enforcement, who found no evidence of weapons. No injuries were reported. The teams later finished the game in front of empty stands. Rumors of a possible shooting threat may have caused the panic.

In addition to the “bag ban,” all spectators at sporting events must remain seated during games. Previously, fans were allowed to buy tickets until the building reached capacity, and some spectators didn’t take seats in the bleachers. Now ticket sales will be limited to the number of available seats in a venue.

Jones said the new rules had already been adopted in some areas.

“Certain schools had already implemented bag restrictions, so we made the decision to extend this policy universally across all schools in order to be consistent and prevent confusion,” Jones said. “We will allow certain bags required for the health of the attendee on a case-by-case basis.”

All high school and middle school athletic events are covered under the new rule.

“We think it’s a common-sense move that makes the events easier to manage and generally safer,” Jones said.

  • The sidewalk project currently underway in Whiteville is federally funded and being managed by the NCDOT.

    City to Receive Major Wastewater Grant

    Whiteville will receive $6.8 million for the replacement and rehabilitation of part of the sewer system, and upgrades at several lift stations, Gov. Roy Cooper announced today (Wednesday). The grant includes $1.5 million in principal [Read More]
  • Front Page

    Youth Martial Arts Orientation Today

    Sheepdog Foundation will hold an orientation for its  traditional youth martial arts today (Wednesday) from 5-7 p.m. at the Whiteville Recreation Center.
  • Courtesy USDA

    Second Turkey Flock Tests for HPAI

    A commercial turkey operation in Duplin County has tested positive for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). This is the second case of high path avian influenza in commercial poultry in North Carolina this month. “I [Read More]
  • gavel. court. judge
    Front Page

    Bladen Man Pleads in Tar Heel Murder

    David Earl Wilkins will spend 35 to 43 years in prison for the 2022 murder of a Tar Heel area man. District Attorney Jon David said Wilkins pled guilty Monday in Bladen County Superior Court. [Read More]
  • James Kirk Harrelson
    Front Page

    Alleged Rapist Tied, Gagged Child

    A Delco girl was allegedly bound and gagged before being raped by a Winnabow man, according to the sheriff’s office and warrants. James Kirk Harrelson, 39, is being held under $150,000 secured bond on two [Read More]
About Jefferson Weaver 1875 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at