DHS Admin Places Consequences for Football Game Misconduct


Matthew Yamamoto

*After further reporting, it was found the estimated number of students was less than 10 according to DHS Admin, not the originally reported 20*

At the Football game last Friday, Aug. 19, 2022, against Flowery Branch High School, the Decatur High School (DHS) student section exhibited unruly behavior that led to an estimated 20 students being removed from the stadium by administrators. Multiple students will receive further punishment via the school’s code of conduct. 

“There was spitting on the opponent’s band, pulling plumes from their hats, making sexual comments about their majorettes, alcohol possession and consumption, fighting and destruction of property,” DHS Principal, Rochelle Lofstrand said in an email to students and parents.

Lofstrand saw the chaos firsthand and was forced to remove multiple students herself. “These behaviors are NOT who we are as members of the DHS PACK!” she said in the same email. 

DHS band students, who see the other band as their peers rather than opponents, were infuriated and disgusted. Senior member of the band Sam Varkey posted on his Instagram story saying, “We met up with the other marching band to talk and hang out. They had spit in their hair, several of their plums were broken and their props were spat on.” Varkey continued by saying, “That was the most embarrassing [thing] ever. You don’t get to boo them and [stuff]. You applaud them.”

Rodney Thomas, Decatur’s Athletics and Activities director, plans to work with administrators to prevent this behavior at future games. 

“This is the worst I’ve seen in my tenure,” Thomas said, “It’s not what we want to promote here. It was embarrassing.” Thomas and other staff members plan to implement a zero-tolerance policy for this type of behavior. Students who continue with this behavior at future games may face expulsion from all athletic events.

“We will be really diligent in watching our students at the next games,” Thomas assures. The games will now have limited capacity, closer supervision by the game staff and bags will no longer be allowed in the stadium. Standing on the bleachers will also now be prohibited.

Lofstrand finished her email to students and parents with hope for the future. “We can and we will do better because we ARE Decatur Bulldogs and we are part of the PACK – purposeful, accountable, connected, and kind!”