'A devastating end:' New details reveal what led up to Franklin Public School's decision to ban spectators at playoff game

’A devastating end: ’ New details reveal what led up to Franklin Public School’s decision to ban spectators at playoff game

FRANKLIN, Wis. (CBS 58) -- We're learning more about what prompted Franklin Public Schools (FPS) to ban spectators from Friday night's playoff football game between Franklin High School and Kenosha Bradford. 

FPS originally cited an "ongoing investigation involving a Kenosha Bradford player" who wasn't in attendance at the game.

But police sources told CBS 58 that fans were not allowed in the stadium due to a threat made against that player three weeks before the game.

According to those sources, students from Racine Park got into a minor fight with a Bradford student after a football game, reportedly saying once the student turned 18 they would "end him."

Friday, the day of the Bradford-Franklin game, also marked the student's birthday.

Sources then said the student told a teacher, who reported it to the principal, who then called Franklin to inform them of the potential threat which led to FPS making the spectator decision hours before the game kicked off. 

A statement from FPS released to families on Oct. 20 said the decision was made "out of an abundance of caution."

Players, coaches, and other approved FPS personnel were the only ones allowed on campus. 

And while many in the community said they understood the safety concerns, parents and team members expressed their disappointment to the announcement.

"I was very confused, frustrated, and shocked with the whole thing," said Stacy Ericson, the mother of a freshman on the Kenosha Bradford football team. "When you hear someone's being threatened to be shot, I understand the concern and want the safety measures along with everyone else, but I just find it interesting the way those decisions were made."

Later, officials from the Kenosha School District confirmed none of their students were under investigation.

Both the Kenosha Police Department and the Franklin Police Department told CBS 58 they weren't involved in any investigations with students and referred all further media inquiries back to the two school districts.

The game was available to watch via livestream. Kenosha Bradford ended up losing to Franklin.

"It was tears when they got back to the school. It was their last game. A really unfortunate way to end the season, to say the least," Ericson said. "It makes such a difference to look back and see people on your side."

Ericson said she's heard from several seniors on the team, and their parents, who are "devastated."

"You got to remember not all these kids are going on to play ball at college, so this would've been their last time suiting up with shoulder pads and a helmet and playing tackle ball," Ericson said. "If you're going to let the game continue, it could've been a very controlled audience, you could've allowed one or maybe two parents or guardians... you could've implemented any number of rules they wanted to. You're searching our players? Then by all means, take my ID and search me. We should've all been able to watch our kids play their last game of the season -- especially the seniors."

On Monday, FPS officials declined to go on camera and said they wouldn't be releasing future statements.

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