STAFF EDITORIAL: Aren’t we supposed to be cheering on the team?

Some students in the student section forgot what the student section should be about during the MHS v. FCHS game last Friday

Seniors+in+the+student+section+showing+proper+support+for+the+Chiefs%3A+paying+attention+to+the+game%2C+cheering%2C+showing+spirit+and+are+on+theme.+The+theme+for+the+Hampton+game+was+Black+Out.+

August Moss

Seniors in the student section showing proper support for the Chiefs: paying attention to the game, cheering, showing spirit and are on theme. The theme for the Hampton game was Black Out.

On Friday, Aug. 26, McIntosh hosted a home football game against Hampton at 7:30 pm. This was the first home football game with the new organization of spectators, including the student section and the marching band section. Numbers from the athletic department recorded 1189 tickets sold, not including people with GHSA and county passes or those who got in free for youth night. As the game progressed tensions arose in the student section. There was a general lack of respect from the student section at that game, and it wouldn’t be surprising if there were repercussions for this behavior. Student behavior at that game jeopardized student safety, disrespected marching band members and the McIntosh football team.

Water bottles were thrown around the student section and made contact with other students. During the game, a group of students loitered along the staircase up to the higher levels. After our Chiefs scored a touchdown, students walking up the stairs were grabbed and shaken out of excitement and celebration. Instances of racial slurs, sexual comments and assault were witnessed by fellow students who were attending the football game and those who saw the behavior on social media.

The potential consequences of this student behavior in the stands could possibly be severe; ranging anywhere from school suspension to the loss of the student section. 

McIntosh School Resources Officer Brandon Weathersby said pushing or throwing water bottles could be charged as simple assault. Furthermore, hg.org defines simple assault according to Georgia law as “the attempt to cause physical injury to another person. …Actual physical injury does not have to occur in order for the act to be considered criminal. For example, if a person threatens to beat someone else up and it is reasonably possible that the person can carry out the threat and the victim believes that he or she intends to do so, this can be considered simple assault in Georgia.”

In addition to the behavior in the student section, some Spirit of McIntosh Marching Band members felt strongly about the new seating arrangement. Band members were blamed by the student section for the switch they had no control over and felt unwelcome by other students at the game. After halftime, marching band members spent the rest of the game on the track to stay away from what they perceived as the student section’s harassment.

The student section exists to show support for the football team, or any other sport that students attend. The goal is to hype up the team and give them encouragement throughout the game and the players should feel appreciation and support from the student section. What they shouldn’t feel is a distraction, or worry, or looking over at students yelling in a manner that is disrespectful.  

We believe the behavior of this game was completely unacceptable. Students at the game disrespected fellow students, their team, and their school. We hope future games are more controlled and monitored by the student leadership, and their fellow students, and that they keep themselves more calm and respectful in the next game.