Safety measures revamped for Goddard
Last updated 9/26/2018 at Noon
After a shooting scare forced the cancellation of the Kamiak-Mariner football game, as well as the evacuation of Goddard Stadium, the Mukilteo School District and local law enforcement agencies have increased safety measures for games played at Mariner High School.
Goddard Stadium, located at Mariner, is the home field for both Mariner and Kamiak.
During the Sept. 14 game between the rival schools, an altercation in the Mariner parking lot nearly turned fatal.
The combatants left the school grounds, and went onto 4th Avenue West where multiple gunshots were fired from a moving car. The Mariner school resource officer reported hearing five to six shots.
Word quickly spread, the game was cancelled with 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and the stadium was evacuated.
Many who attended the game described the scene as chaotic, with the public address announcer shouting, “Hit the deck.” In last week’s issue of The Beacon, Kamiak student Madeleine Reed wrote a Letter to the Editor about the incident, and said she felt there was no one taking charge of the situation.
“I myself looked for adults, coaches, parents, even ASB representatives to help control the growing mob of fearful kids, and to my dismay and despair, there were none to help,” she said.
The Mukilteo School District has acted quickly to increase security measures for games at Goddard Stadium, which were implemented last Friday when Mariner played Monroe High School.
In a release from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, officials said the Mukilteo School District hired an additional deputy to go along with the normal two-deputy detail. That third deputy was in charge of the parking lot and the perimeter of the stadium.
“We hope that hiring a deputy to patrol the area from 5 to 11 p.m. will deter any unwanted visitors and activity,” Mariner principal Nate DuChesne said.
Additionally, school administrators wore highly visible vests, and were carrying walkie-talkies.
Mariner sent out a statement saying they will have three to four school administrators supervising the stadium, and there are clear evacuation plans with several open gates available.
Kamiak also issued a statement, noting that all entrants will receive an evacuation map, no backpacks or open containers will be allowed, and there will be no re-entry to the stadium.
They also discourage entrants from bringing in large bags and purses, and that all bags are subject to a search by security personnel.
Both schools are implementing policies for after the game.
“In addition to our focus on safety for our students and community, we are asking that all students be off the Mariner campus within 30 minutes of game/activity end times,” Mariner principal Nate DuChesne said.
“All staff/students will leave Goddard Stadium within 15 minutes after the contest has ended,” Kamiak’s statement said. “If you are picking up a student at the stadium, please make sure you arrive in time to pick up your student.”
Mukilteo School District spokesman Andy Muntz felt the new policies went off smoothly during Mariner’s game last Friday, which included a new script for the public address announcers.
“The stadium announcer did a great job with the emergency safety message when things were getting underway, information about evacuation procedures was easily available, and the school administrators, game workers, and police officers were all highly visible to those who attended,” he said.
Public address announcers are also in contact with administrators via radio, and they will have a script in case an emergency occurs.
The Mukilteo School District and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office also offered this advice in the event of an emergency:
- Make a mental note of all possible exits. The most direct route out or the way you came in may be blocked or unsafe as an exit.
- Make a plan with your family or group for how you will communicate and where you can safely reconnect nearby, but off-site.
- Stay calm, do not panic, and follow the directions of first responders.
- Locate a school staff member or someone in uniform for help or assistance.
According to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, they believe the Sept. 14 shooting incident was gang-related.
Courtney O’Keefe, a communications specialist with the Sheriff’s Office, offered some statistics regarding gang-related shootings in the area:
- 82 gang-related shootings since Jan. 2015 in south Snohomish County
- 26 resulted in subjects with gunshot wounds
- 5 victims of homicide
O’Keefe also said detectives have seen a recent increase in gang-related activity in the area.
No arrests have been made in connection with the Sept. 14 incident, and there is no information known about possible suspects.
If you have any information, contact the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.