WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Fans of Dunbar High School rooted for their team during Friday’s home game against Bell High School. However, their cheers took place outside the stadium, along a fence that surrounded it.
“I like it out here. We tailgating now here. 10 for the win, 10 for the win,” shouted Nate Catlett and friends.
They had to watch the game from outside after administrators banned fans from being inside the stadium.
“We’re all about our student athletes. Same, safety is first,” said Daniel McDowell, Dunbar’s director of athletics.
The violence at or near the school over the last few days prompted the decision by administrators, highlighted by the Sept. 11 death of Antonio Cunningham. The 17-year-old was shot on his way to work, and attended Dunbar at the time he died.
“Our city is just filled with crime. We just want to make sure our kids be able to play,” said McDowell. “They play the game, have fun and go home safely.”
Parents supported the decision.
“It’s okay. It’s for safety reasons,” said Shaunetta Dorn. “I understand, but it’s okay. I like it out here. Less people.”
Dunbar went home with the 40-18 win. So did its fans, who promised to be back for the next home game, Sept. 29 against Roosevelt High School.
Administrators said the plan is for fans to watch it from inside the stadium.