Fighting and a possible shooting threat last week at a Pensacola High School football game have caused lingering safety concerns among Escambia County Public Schools officials, prompting administrators to reschedule school hours. future games.
Two upcoming Pensacola High football games will be moved from Friday nights to Saturday mornings.
The football game between Pensacola High and Tate High originally scheduled for Friday, September 2, will now be played at 9 am on Saturday, September 3 at Tate High.
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The following weekend, the Pensacola High vs. Pine Forest High originally scheduled for September 9th will be played the following morning at 9am on September 10th.
“At this point, to err on the side of caution, we’ve talked to the city and county and we’re not going to take any chances. We just want to make sure everyone is safe,” said school district spokesman Cody Strother. .
The fights that prompted the scheduling changes occurred in the Aug. 26 matchup between Pensacola High and Washington High, which was played at Washington High.
“It was some of our students and then some people from different neighborhoods, not from any particular neighborhood,” Strother said.
Pensacola police responded to the incident
Pensacola Police Department spokesman Greg Gordon confirmed that police responded to the incident.
“There were several riots between the students, and then there were some fights, some confirmed fights, and now they’re reversing all of that,” Gordon said.
The initial investigation identified approximately 18 people involved, but PPD is still working to determine the extent of their involvement, according to a joint news release from the school district and PPD. Due to the active investigation and the involvement of minors, there is limited information that can be released at this time, according to the release.
During the investigation, police learned of a possible shooting threat at an upcoming PHS football game. In light of this information, changes have been made to the upcoming soccer match schedule to help maintain a safe environment.
“We can assure you that the decision to move these games was made solely with the safety of our students in mind, and is in no way a disciplinary action against students,” a statement from the school district said.
Multiple off-duty PPD officers, hired to provide game security, were already at the scene when the fights broke out.
“The officers that were working the game, some of them had their lights on and things like that to illuminate and show the present, but no, it wasn’t like they were all working. They were officers working off duty,” Gordon. said.
No major injuries were reported. A minor was arrested at the scene.
“There was an arrest involving a student hitting a teacher,” Gordon said. “That was it.”
Gordon added that there may be additional arrests as the investigation continues.
Colin Warren-Hicks can be reached at [email protected] or 850-435-8680.