“There have been shootings in our community and some of them have involved our children in our schools and it is just amazing.”
ANGIE, Louisiana – Two Washington Parish football teams are back on the training ground after their Friday night rivalry game was canceled.
School principals at Bogalusa High School and Varnado High School in Angie decided to cancel the match because they feared the violence in the community could spread to the stadium.
“As we have suffered so much violence in our community, we just thought it was in the best interest not to play this game,” said Lisa Tanner, Superintendent of Schools in Bogalusa. “There have been shootings in our community and some of them have involved our children in our schools and it is just amazing.”
The move comes after Aaron Brown, 18, a high school student in Bogalusa, was shot and killed in late August. He was getting off a school bus at the time. About a month later, a 13-year-old high school student was also shot dead after getting off a school bus, although he was believed to survive. Tanner said coaches and administrators feared violence could spread to football.
“Sometimes the fear comes from the unknown and you just don’t know,” Tanner said. “So when a community and parents fear for the safety of their children, I think you have to think beyond that. “
According to Tanner, no specific threats were made, but she said there were concerns about the one-way, one-way standoff at Varnado High School, meaning if there was another shot, the ensuing chaos could make it difficult to exit the area.
Amber Freeman’s stepson is dating Varnado. She says there were several brawls the last time the two schools clashed in Varnado. With the recent violence, she thinks it was smart to call off the match.
“It’s pretty crazy. I mean all this violence, ”Freeman said. “The last time the game was there it was crazy. There were people everywhere and brawls broke out so it’s better.”
As of yet, no other games have been canceled, but principals say security will be tightened for all future games.
Schools were allowed to find other teams to play or take time off. Varnado performed at Baker High School on Friday night. Bogalusa chose to have a week off.