North Middlesex lifts ban early, allows students to attend games

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TOWNSEND — North Middlesex Regional High School will allow its students to attend athletic events, Principal Tim McMahon announced on Thursday, lifting a temporary ban that went into place just two days earlier.

The announcement came by way of a letter to parents, which was quickly shared on local Facebook pages.

In the letter, McMahon said that he decided to lift the ban after meeting with “student leaders, student/athletes, and some of our most passionate, prideful fans.”

“As a result of the mature, respectful nature and tone of these conversations, the desire of our students to be part of the solution to an ongoing problem, and a mutual desire to see students back in the stands during all North Middlesex athletic contests as soon as possible, I am pleased to announce we will be lifting our restrictions on our students attending athletic contests,” McMahon wrote in the letter.

Originally, the ban was set to be revisited on Feb. 1. Instead, McMahon said, students will be allowed to attend athletic events beginning on Saturday, when the school’s hockey team is set to play St. Peter-Marian High School.

Earlier this week, the district announced it was temporarily banning student fans from attending athletic events because of repeated instances of inappropriate behavior. McMahon said at the time that administrators “had grown frustrated by the seemingly weekly complaints that we were receiving regarding fan behaviors. Despite our best efforts to encourage reflection and behavior modification at our athletic events, the same problems continue to arise,” according to a copy of the letter shared on social media.

But while the administration has walked back the ban, in its place are a new set of rules for students who attend games.

According to McMahon’s letter, North Middlesex students will be required to bring their student IDs to all home games and will be required to “sign in and acknowledge that they have read and understand the NM code of conduct and expectations for fans.”

Additionally, McMahon urged other spectators to alert the administration of any behavioral issues they witness, and said that the school will increase staff presence at all home games.

“I am confident that as we move forward and resume having our students cheer on their peers and classmates at our athletic events that we will continue to help and support them all understand the importance of demonstrating class, character, accountability, and integrity in all situations as we are all a reflection of the NM Community as a whole,” McMahon said.