CHS's Tenreiro says he'll lift hockey fan ban

CHS's Tenreiro says he'll lift hockey fan ban

CUMBERLAND - A short ban on student fans attending hockey games was expected to be lifted by week's end, Cumberland High School Principal Alan Tenreiro told The Breeze.

But first he wants hockey captains have a chance to address students personally.

Late last week, Tenreiro took the unusual step of telling students to stay away from last Saturday's game - a game ultimately canceled because of the weather - after persistent complaints about "vulgar and obnoxious" behavior by CHS fans the week before.

He described student actions, in part, as chanting vulgarities and spitting on the opposing team members from Middletown.

Out-of-line students drew in participation by others in the crowd and was rewarded with laughter from others, he said.

Complaints about the behavior of hockey game fans - not the team - had begun last year and continued during this first of the season, he said.

While he's received 15 complaints about hockey game disruptions over the past year, he says "all other sports combined is zero."

"It's a weird culture that's created itself that's totally unacceptable," he said.

Calling it a "group think mentality" that was more widespread than just a core group, he speculated that it may because the home games are played at the Adelard Arena at Mount St. Charles Academy rather than within the CHS campus.

Nonetheless, he reminded students, school rules apply at this Cumberland-sponsored event.

The fan ban came even as school leaders have been encouraging a renewed school pride that's put "Clipper pride" on the rise.

In his remarks to students last week, Tenreiro prefaced comments by telling students that "school-wide behavior has been excellent," adding, "I am truly proud to be the principal of a school with such a great student body."

Still, his message to students last week continued, "For the most part, our students were well behaved and under control. There were some students in the front rows who were rowdy - loud, vulgar and obnoxious. Some of the fans who were all sitting together representing CHS thought it was appropriate to continuously use derogatory comments and swears. From the entire crowd there was some inappropriate chanting that included vulgarity.

"The most disturbing part of the report indicated that the referees stopped the game because some Cumberland fans were getting out of control and that some students had spit on an opposing player."

Tenreiro said the information was based on "multiple reports and emails of Cumberland parents, opposing team parents, our game supervisors and the Rhode Island Interscholastic League."