The most anticipated high school football games in Jacksonville won’t be taking part on Friday nights after a triple shooting wreaked havoc on Friday.
As reported by Jacksonville news network WJXT, 12 high school football games are being shifted from their traditional Friday night slots to either Thursday night or Saturday morning affairs in response to the triple shooting that erupted at Friday’s football game between Raines and Lee High Schools. Games shifted to Thursdays will begin at 5:30 p.m. per an announcement from Dr. Diana Greene, superintendent of Duval County Public Schools.
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While the loss of Friday night lights is a significant one for Jacksonville seniors, it pales in comparison to the risk of additional victims at in-game (or postgame) shootings.
“We were shocked, basically,” Raines senior James Tarver told WJXT. “After the football game you don’t wanna come out and see this. I think they are doing what they can (for safety).”
In addition to the shifted games, Jacksonville high schools are also incorporating additional security, including guards at the front gates of the schools and rules at Raines that forbid parents from dropping off students inside the main gates.
“This is becoming our new normal — one that I am not willing to just openly accept. However, as a community we all have to stand up and say this is unacceptable,” Greene told WJXT. “It is unacceptable that as a community we can’t come together to watch a football game without this evening descending into violence.”