Due to safety concerns, a Michigan school district has banned backpacks as of Monday.
Flint Community Schools Superintendent Kevelin Jones stated in a letter to parents that the policy would remain in effect until the end of the school year
Students who carry backpacks to school will be asked to call a parent or guardian to pick up the bag before returning to class.
“Across the country, we have seen an increase in threatening behavior and contraband, including weapons, being brought into schools at all levels,” Jones wrote. “Backpacks make it easier for students to hide weapons, which can be disassembled and harder to identify or hidden in pockets, inside books, or under other items.”
In addition to the previous statement, Superintendent Kevelin Jones mentioned that students would be allowed to carry lunchboxes, small personal handbags, and clear plastic bags for clothing. However, students will be required to undergo bag searches.
Although clear bags have been mandated in various districts across the nation, Jones believes that clear bags do not resolve security concerns.
In a parent handbook, the district stated that guns can “still easily be hidden in clear backpacks.”
“By banning backpacks altogether and adding an increased security presence across the district, we can better control what is being brought into our buildings,” he wrote to parents.
The new backpack ban in Flint was authorized by the board of education, the district’s management, school principals, and the Flint Police Department.
“We apologize for any inconvenience that this policy will have on our scholars and families, but when it comes to the safety of our school community, we will not take any chances,” Jones said.