Ardrey Kell faces first football game after entire student section thrown out

Ardrey Kell faces first football game after entire student section thrown out

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Under the Friday night lights, there were all signs of an average high school football game at Providence High School, playing against Ardrey Kell High School.

But for Ardrey Kell drum major Jackson Dumas, there are still memories of what happened last week, at their home game.

"It was unfortunate to hear," he says. "And as someone who's a member of this awesome band, it was a little upsetting."

According to Principal David Switzer, seven days ago, things got out of hand in the student section – some of it, taken out on the band.

"I turned the corner and saw, you know what, this doesn't look like the crowd that I want to have here at Ardrey Kell High School," Switzer remembers.

He sent a message to parents this week, saying all students had been kicked out of the football game, after he saw students drunk, high, yelling racial comments, and spitting and throwing things at their own band.

"They did get consequences at the school level," Switzer says. "We gave consequences to someone who did the physical altercation, we gave consequences for everything that we could."

Andrea Houpt was there in the student section last week. She says it was a select group acting out, but she understands why the principal told everyone to leave.

"To show that even a small group effects a large presence," she says.

This week, an away game at a rival team brought a full student section. Principal Switzer says the school made sure every young person in Ardrey Kell's section was an Ardrey Kell student, and that none of them had anything with them they should not have.

"Let's make sure it's somewhere kids can enjoy a Friday night," he says.

For Dumas and his bandmates, they say there is no love lost between them and the student section.

"I couldn't be more proud of these guys considering what happened," he says.

The school is now seemingly wanting to move forward from the night and to take away lessons learned.

"We really don't want it to happen because we don't want that image on us," Houpt says.

The first home game since the incident will be next week, against West Mecklenburg.


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