DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — On Friday, high school football teams all over North Alabama will hit the field for some high school football action.

In Decatur, one of the biggest rivalry games will kick off at 7:00 p.m. Decatur High School is taking on Austin High School at Ogle Stadium in Decatur.

To prepare, and ensure the safety of everyone, Decatur City Schools (DCS) announced some “security enhancements” ahead of the game.

Most notably, all students and spectators who intend to bring a larger bag inside the stadium must bring a clear bag. DCS said clear bags must not be larger than 12x12x6 inches.

“We want to be able to see through those bags,” said Elizabeth Gentle, the Director of Communications for Decatur City Schools. “Whatever contents in there we need to be able to see what is inside those bags.”

Smaller, clutch-size bags will be allowed in, and do not need to be clear.

There is an exception to the clear bag rule for diaper bags and bags with medical supplies. However, those bags may be searched by security upon entry.

This clear bag rule is only applicable for this game. Gentle said at this time there are no plans to make it a standard practice for football games.

A sign outside Ogle Stadium reminding people that firearms are not allowed.

People who enter the stadium will also pass through the school’s “weapons detection” system. Gentle said the weapons detection is similar to a metal detector, but is more sensitive to weapons.

“A weapons detection system differs from a metal detector, as it detects and checks for weapons of mass casualty, which would be a gun, an ammo clip, any loose ammo,” Gentle said.

Decatur City Schools said during Friday’s game there will be an additional 15 to 20 Decatur Police Officers on campus, and they may utilize drone technology to keep an eye on things.

Gentle said the safety of students, staff, and spectators is the number one priority.

“I think in this time, you can never take safety for granted,” she said. “The whole idea of going to a high school football game, is to be able to have fun and not worry about what’s going on around you. It’s our responsibility, as well, to make sure that the people that come to our schools, to any of our campuses, to our athletic events also feel safe and secure while they are here and enjoying the event.”

In addition to those added security measures, DCS added a few additional safety procedures:

  • Elementary and middle school-aged children need to be accompanied by an adult when entering the stadium and throughout the game.
  • Students must remain seated during the game. No loitering.
  • Any student/fan who causes a disruption may be removed from the stadium and possibly denied entry to future athletic events.
  • People should enter the stadium on the side they intend to sit. Decatur fans should enter on the home side of the stadium and Austin fans should enter on the visitor side.
  • Crossing between the home and visitor side of the stadium will not be permitted.
  • There will be no re-entry to the stadium if you leave during the game.
  • No loitering in the parking lot after the game.

Decatur City Schools encourages anyone who may see something concerning or suspicious happening to contact a police officer or school official immediately. The Safe Schools Decatur Tip Line is also available.

People can call or text the tipline at 256-227-8514. Or email

Decatur City Schools says the clear bag policy will only impact the Decatur/Austin rivalry football game, and the same rivalry matchup basketball game later in the school year. No other schools in the Decatur City Schools system will implement a clear bag policy at this time.