THOMSON, Ga (WJBF)- It’s football season and safety is on the minds of school districts all over the CSRA as many new polices are being put into place for better safety at football games.

McDuffie County now requires students under 16 be accompanied by an adult – and it’s getting some mixed reviews.

District officials said they noticed more students moving around the stadium at the August 19th game, causing congestion at concessions and in the aisles of the stands.

NewsChannel 6 reached out to parents to see what they think of the new policy.

“I think it’s a great thing,” said Gary Youngblood Jr.

“I don’t agree at all,” said Ayla Gardler.

McDuffie County School officials say something had to be done about congestion at Thomson High School football games saying it poses a safety problem.

If there is severe weather, fans are cleared out of the metal stadium and sent to their vehicles for safety. If students can’t drive they may not have anywhere to seek shelter without an adult present.

The district also said if there is a health emergency, they can’t authorize medical treatment for a minor.

Many parents believe the policy is also to help control behavior. Whatever the purpose, the rule has mixed reaction from parents.

“I think the kids will be held accountable a little bit more with the parents there. And maybe we can have a little bit more ruly atmosphere where people can enjoy the game,” said Gary Youngblood.

“Because you’re not allowing children who are well behaved, who just want to go hang out at the football games and watch the game, you’re not allowing them to enjoy themselves,” Gardler disagreed.

Youngblood and his wife Tonya approve of the policy saying that it was hard move around the stadium at the last game.

“There was a lot of standing around. A lot of congestion to the stands and to the bathrooms. Even my children, they wanted to walk around. And I did allow them to walk around some, but half the time the had to sit with me,” explained Tonya.

Students will have IDs checked at the gate. The idea is that students who are 16 will have a drivers license with a birth date. School officials admit there are some things to work out but say they have time, because the next home game isn’t for a few weeks.

Gardler believes the policy is to control behavior and says having a parent there won’t change anything.

“Because I’ve seen the behavior with the parent sitting there and the parents aren’t correcting the behavior. So I don’t think this is the answer.”

The Youngbloods agree that behavior is a problem at the games.

“The children are very unruly at times. There was two fights at the game that night,” said Tonya.

The school district confirmed there was at least one fight at the last home game but that it was between adults and not students.

They said this isn’t a new rule, but they stopped enforcing it during the pandemic because congestion wasn’t a problem.

The next home game is September 23rd.