A disturbance at Friday’s Gordon Central-Chattooga game led to a decision by GC Principal Doug Clark to call for the game’s immediate suspension with the Chattooga team escorted out of the county by law enforcement. Below is the update posted by Clark on the school’s Facebook page on Saturday afternoon:
During the boys’ basketball game Friday night, Feb. 2, between Gordon Central and Chattooga, there was an incident behind the Chattooga bench where fans engaged in behavior, instigated by a recent graduate of a neighboring district, which will not be tolerated at Gordon Central High School.
We strive to ensure the safety of everyone that attends an event on our campus at all times and have high expectations for how our students, as well as our community members, represent our school.
It is very disappointing that a couple of our fans chose to cause an incident that led to my stopping the game in the third quarter. My first priority as this incident took place was to ensure the safety of everyone attending this event. Once all parties were under control, I went to the Chattooga dressing room to make sure everyone was OK and spoke with Chattooga’s coach to see what his thoughts were about continuing the game. We both agreed that it was not in the best interest of all involved to continue, so I had the Gordon Central coach join us, and he agreed.
Because the safety of all that attend an event at GCHS is ultimately my responsibility, I determined that the game would be called at that point. An announcement was made that the game was called, and everyone was asked to exit the building. There were three off-duty Gordon County sheriff’s officers attending the game (Friday) night; two were attending to watch the games and one was there acting as security for the event. I appreciate the efforts of all three who assisted with crowd control as well as the additional officers who were called in to assist as needed. These officers helped ensure that everyone was safe as they exited the building.
We arranged for the Chattooga bus to be pulled up to the door to ensure they could safely exit. As an added level of security to make sure they felt safe as they left GCHS, I asked a deputy to follow them as they left our community.
Saturday morning, I viewed the video from our security cameras and was able to determine what exactly happened and have turned that over to the sheriff’s department for further investigation. My investigation will continue to determine the role our student-athletes and fans played in this incident, and appropriate discipline action will be imposed in accordance with the Code of Conduct of the Gordon County Board of Education.
I would like to add that I am very proud of my staff and their response to this incident, as they very quickly stepped in to help contain the situation.
This incident demonstrates how the actions of a few can tarnish the image of our school. However, I want to make a very public statement that this type of behavior is not tolerated in our school or community, and I am embarrassed by what took place last night on our campus.
As principal of Gordon Central High School, I take responsibility for the actions of our student athletes and fans and respectively apologize for what happened during this event and want to assure everyone this type behavior will not happen again.
An update: Clark was questioned on Facebook about more specific details from Friday night. This is his response:
Doug Clark “I can state that no one was hurt and people acted badly at a high school basketball game. You are correct that I can’t guarantee it won’t happen again but I can work to prevent it. We, as a society, struggle at times and making mistakes is what makes us human. But when it does happen again and you are right it probably will, appropriate actions will be taken. In the end that is about all I can truly guarantee.”
The score of the game was Chattooga up 69-44