Monday, June 5, 2023
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Mich. School District Bans Backpacks to Deter Mass Shootings

'Clear backpacks do not completely fix this issue... '

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) The Board of Education in Flint, Michigan, voted to prohibit students from carrying backpacks because of an uptick in safety incidents.

According to the Daily Wire, Southwestern Classical Academy dealt with two separate occurrences, causing officials to close area schools. Starting on Monday, the administration prohibited kids to bring backpacks into schools.

The ruling permits for small purses, clear plastic bags and some lunchboxes allowing for  searches by security guards.

If a student does bring a backpack to school, the school office will summon a parent or guardian to pick up their items.

Athletes must drop off their equipment at the school’s front office for safekeeping.

“School safety remains an important topic for districts across the country, including here in Flint,” Superintendent Kevelin Jones wrote in a letter to parents. “As a district, we are taking a 360-degree approach to create safe spaces for children’s academic journeys. To that end, we have reached a point where we must make difficult decisions and ask our school community to demonstrate flexibility, understanding and a shared sense of urgency when it comes to safety.”

Jones also emphasized the increasing consistency of contraband, particularly weapons, smuggled into school grounds.

“Clear backpacks do not completely fix this issue,” he said. “By banning backpacks altogether and adding an increased security presence across the district, we can better control what is being brought into our buildings.”

The same proposal went up for a vote earlier this year, but did not pass. The district previously banned backpacks in 2007 due to similar safety concerns.

Southwestern Classical Academy closed twice due to two threats of safety. The first took place in December 2021 when a student produced a video threatening to execute a school shooting, following the example of shooters in nearby Oakland County.

The second closure took place in April 2023, though the details of the event were not publicized.

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