A high school football game in Choctaw on Friday was interrupted by gunfire, which caused players to scramble and spectators to scream. 16-year-old died.
Booker T. Washington’s game was halted in Tulsa, 95 miles to the northeast, when a person displayed a gun, resulting in a “brief stampede.”
At a high school football game that same evening in Los Angeles, a school staffer was hit by a stray bullet. Likewise, a game in Georgetown, South Carolina, across the country, was called off at halftime when shots were fired from the parking lot.
High school football, which is both a sport and a type of religion in Oklahoma and other parts of the nation, is not exempt from mindless violence.
There have been 11 shootings during high school football games in the United States this month, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database. And the NFL season just got underway.
The K-12 School Shooting Database, which is updated every day based on news reports, was founded by David Riedman. “Unless there’s somebody looking for all of those individual incidents, then you don’t realize in aggregate how many there are,” he said.
During the Choctaw-Del City game, there was shooting that resulted in one fatality and numerous injuries. A Del City police officer acting as security during the commotion shot a man in the chest.
Del City High School will now host home football games with more police officers present, according to Del City Police Chief Lloyd Berger, who made the announcement on Monday.
According to Berger, “I want the public to come out, I want them to have fun, and I want to know that they’re safe, too.” We promise to exert every effort to make that happen.
Acts of gun violence at high school sporting events, however, are not a Del City or Oklahoma issue, as Riedman’s database demonstrates. There have been 29 instances of gun violence at high school sporting events this year, including the occurrences in Choctaw and Tulsa on Friday – Tulsa is included even though no rounds were fired. There were 59 the prior year.
According to the K-12 database, 16.5% of all firearms incidents at schools take place during athletic events.
The OSSAA is exploring security measures for the championship events it is in charge of, according to David Jackson, executive director of the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association. However, Jackson noted that each school district, not the OSSAA, is in responsibility of security for most games.
Jackson replied, “We leave everything up to them. “Security issues are something that schools deal with every day; they don’t need us to tell them how to keep people safe.”
The Oklahoma chapter of Moms Demand Action, a group that advocates for tougher gun regulations to shield people from gun violence, is led by Joshua Harris-Till in terms of communications.
Shots were fired on the football field on Friday while Harris-Till’s nephew, a Del City player, was there.
Harris-Till remarked of his infant, “I would’ve been at that game if I didn’t have this kid. What if I was seated in the incorrect location? What if I had brought my baby?
When Harris-Till learned that his nephew was fine, he wondered about these things.
“We already need to consider that,”