Students taking part in a brawl last Friday after an Edison and Central High School football game will be held accountable, according to Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson.

“We want our kids to be involved in athletics and activities across the board, and we will do everything we can to make sure they are safe for the duration of time they are there. — Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson

A series of fights occurred in a Wendy’s parking lot on Blackstone Avenue, across the street from where Central defeated Edison in a 35-7 season-opening victory at Ratcliffe Stadium.

Students Banned For Year

Nelson said students that have been identified will not be allowed to participate in any of the subsequent football events throughout the year.

“That is how we are managing it because we want high school football to be a good experience for everybody involved,” Nelson said.

Brawl Drew Large Crowd

The brawl, which drew a crowd of about 100, yielded no arrests or injuries, something Fresno Police Lt. Mark Hudson credits to the six officers that were assigned to the game.

“When officers arrived, there was nobody fighting and the crowd dispersed peacefully,” Hudson said.

For future sporting events, Hudson said it is best for attendees to have a game plan of their own, which should consist of planning a way to exit the venue and a way to get home safely.

He added that people should try to avoid crowded areas if possible.

“We want to make sure we are ready for that and that we manage the end of the game circumstances to make it as clean and effective as we possibly can.” — Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson

“So you won’t become a victim of an assault if a fight should happen to break out and you are there,” Hudson said.

Nelson said Fresno Unified is changing how it operates with respect to how it handles fans exiting Ratcliffe Stadium.

“We want to make sure we are ready for that and that we manage the end of the game circumstances to make it as clean and effective as we possibly can,” Nelson said.

New Plan For Future Games

Fresno Unified’s Bullard High School will take on Buchanan at Ratcliffe Stadium this Friday. Nelson said the district will implement its new crowd control plan.

“We learned from this and we’ve already created a new protocol for how we are going to go about doing that,” Nelson said.

He added, “We want our kids to be involved in athletics and activities across the board, and we will do everything we can to make sure they are safe for the duration of time they are there.”

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