‘Safety Concerns’ Prompt Cancellation of East vs. Ames Football Game

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Friday night’s game between the East High Scarlets and the Ames Little Cyclones has been cancelled.

Ames officials tell us the game is cancelled because of "security threats" at East High School.

Thursday East High School's principal did send a letter out to parents and students that there was a threat of gun violence at the school day. However they said there is no credible information supporting the threat.

Police increased their presence at the school Friday.

Ames High School approached the Iowa High School Athletic Association about the situation and the IHSAA gave East the choice of moving Friday night’s game to Ames, playing it on Saturday during the day, or forfeiting.

The Des Moines School District released the following statement about the situation:

“IHSAA’s stance is disappointing and sets an insupportable precedent,” said Tom Ahart, superintendent of Des Moines Public Schools. “The reasons Ames and the IHSAA are basing their decision on are baseless. This is an insult to our students, our school and the entire Des Moines community.”

“We have complete confidence that there are no more and no less safety concerns for tonight’s game than there would be for any other football game anywhere else in Iowa,” added interim Chief Schools Officer Matt Smith. “Based on our close work with the Des Moines Police Department in response to these rumors, the reasons cited by Ames and agreed to by IHSAA have no merit.”

“Forcing East to play a game on the road with a few hours notice or on a Saturday with less than a day’s notice lacks all respect for our students,” said Tim Schott, executive director of secondary schools at DMPS. “Many of our students work on the weekends, in jobs that they need to help support their families, and Ames and the IHSAA are jeopardizing the well-being of those students by making such a rash and groundless decision.”

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  • Patti Guy Sheeler

    This is almost funny to read. Seriously? Why did you have increased police presence at East High School if there wasn’t anything to worry about? I think this was certainly within the rights of Ames High School and the IHSAA. How are they jeopardizing any students? It was the school’s choice.

    • No

      They cancelled it because there were many of reports of gang violence around east high school. Now there were rumors that guns will be invovled in the next fight. Police found guns inside and outside East High school. They have to increase security for the saftey of kid. Dont comment something petty over a story you barely now. I am a student at East Highschool and now exactly what is going on and why they have to cancel plans. I am NOT involved in these types of violents though.

    • BTK.

      A response to NO. I can tell that you are an East High student because of the way you spell and try to express your thoughts, which are intensely unpleasant. It is a shame that you go to public school. You should be more “involved” in your English class. And for the sake of everyone, please use a contraceptive!

      • Ska

        SeriouslyBTK, has it ever occurred to you that the person who wrote that may have special needs. Maybe you need to find compassion in your self and learn not to judge others. I hope you too use contraceptives, our society need less hateful people like yourself. EHS graduate with a BS and MA with honors.

      • JOS

        As a current student at East High I find what you are saying to be offensive and remarkably ignorant of what the school is actually like. With almost 2000 people enrolled at the school you cannot use one person to represent all of them. Sure, most of the school comes from lower income families but that doesn’t mean the school is garbage like you seem to believe. I am guessing by the way NO types and from the demographics of East that s/he is an recent immigrant and doesn’t yet have the best grasp of the English language. Even if s/he isn’t an immigrant that doesn’t give you the right to say that they should have the right of reproduction taken from them. Please don’t make hateful comments until you understand the situation and remove your twisted view of how East, and any other public school in general, works.

      • ari

        Must feel really great to talk to people you don’t know like that. Especially kids. Yeah, make ’em feel really terrible. I feel sorry for your family.

      • No

        By the way, I’m was not born in America. Thats why I make a couple mistakes on my spelling. Don’t offend people’s grammer when you don’t actually know them. Have fun responding back with an insult

      • No

        By the way, I’m was not born in America. Thats why I make a couple mistakes on my spelling. Don’t offend people’s grammer when you don’t actually know them. So please, stop arguing about people’s grammars. It’s ridiculous

      • PkD

        SKA – what an idiot you are!!! You know nothing about the person who posted but yet you feel the need to judge this person because they attend East! Such a hateful, racist person you are!!!

      • In the trenches

        A response toBTK
        I can tell you are from a sheltered upperclass suburban school because of your need to prove some level of percieved superiority over anyone around you. Your opinions are as shallow as your world view. The biggest risk you face daily is your fashon choice. Your friends are shallow as well. That is why you are so close to them and so far remove from reality.
        I mispelled a word. Can you find it?

  • Walter Sobchak

    I’m sure student attendance at Des Moines East on Friday was stellar. Oh wait… East has no one to blame but themselves.

    • In the trenches

      You are so right. Lets blame the nearly 2,000 student in the school for the acts of a few.Hell lets bar the doors, close the school. That’ll teach them. Maybe we should just go ahead and jaill all of them now. It’s all of their faults just for being a student there.
      Better yet, close all of the Des Moines schools just in case some of thoae “East Kids” decides to go somewhere else and cause trouble. Oh my God what would happen if some f them made their way to Waukee, Valley or even Dowling. Its the ruin of our whole educational system.
      Yep your right.


  • Katie Swalla

    Just wondering, why, if it was a baseless threat, they felt the need to inform parents, students and faculty about the possibility for a lockdown, increase security and have a police presence at the school? Seems like overkill if the threat was truly baseless.

    • Gary Fisher

      Two things to remember. There is always SRO’s in high schools or assigned to high schools anyways. Secondly almost all school threats end up being baseless, but on the one percent chance that it is not it is always better to cautious than not. More than likely the game could have been played.

    • Gary Fisher

      There is a difference between a general increase in violence around the school and a direct threat that is serious enough to warrant more officers going into the school and the increase in patrols in the area.

  • Mike Mikesch

    So Ames will go undefeated next year playing all Home Games, as they do not feel safe traveling. Random post will be cited as reasons to not leave home with full support of ISHAA

  • Parent

    You can’t be too safe when there is a threat of school violence. If the administration at Arapahoe High School in Colorado had paid closer attention to threats made by the student gunman, the shooting there last year might have been averted.

  • Melanie

    If the threats were no bigger of an issue than any other school in Iowa, why did they send a letter home with students and increase police security? I’d say that Ames did the right thing. It ensures the safety of everyone involved.

  • Gary Fisher

    The whole thing is sad for the students who had no part in this mess. Threats from wannabe gang bangers and thugs have ruined a Friday night tradition. It is always interesting and fun to read how the politics of this will get played out in the news. What is already interesting is that the blame game has already started. What I have heard is that Ames offered to pay East to bus their football team up to Ames. They offered to give East the gate for the game and have them be the home team. I also heard that East rejected that offer and said they were trying to find an alternative location to play in the metro. From what I have heard from others that an alternative location was found, but the leadership of the school and the district decided not to use it anyway.

  • kacie

    Having graduated from east in 2011, it upsets me so much to see arguments like this and hearing people say bad things about east. I do not blame ames for not wanting to risk their students/children maybe being in danger as I am sure parents of the east players felt the same about their own children. Bad things are happening EVERYWHERE and it is always better to be safe than sorry… it is a shame that the game did not happen, but the negative stereotypes are hurtful and unnecessary.

    • guest 2

      Apparently the ones poo-pooing about this and how it was handled “excessively” haven’t heard about what just happened in Rolfe and the Pocahontas school. Read up, stop being naive and hug your kids!!

  • kmh

    Seriously Ames is truly no better. Isn’t that where Veisha is no longer happening? How do you know it wasn’t someone from Ames making the call

  • Brian Rivera

    No matter what, after the crazy events that have happened the last decade, threats of school shootings must be taken seriously. Even if it is just some punk kid behind a computer screen who likes to cause trouble. Of course East will have to up their security for the day and have kids not come to school if they don’t feel safe. But to cancel a football game that is gated all around the perimeter, let’s no bags in, already has officers on sight, and assurance by officials that there is no issues to not have the game, is a great insult to all the students that couldn’t have their senior night. Ames and IHSSA’s decision is completely pathetic.

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