Backpacks are banned in a Michigan School District

The overwhelming amount of gun violence in the US has left people feeling on edge, specifically, with reason, schools. It is because of this that a Michigan school district has banned students from carrying backpacks. A conventional school material that has been used for ages and associated with the innocence of a learning child now has a dangerous connotation.

Because of “safety concerns”, these will be replaced by clear plastic bags for gym clothes and lunchboxes “within reason” — a clear distinction was made that that does not mean clear backpacks, since according to the district “this alternative does not completely fix this issue… weapons can still easily be hidden in clear backpacks”. Small purses are also allowed for personal items like wallets, keys, hygiene products and phones. However, it will all be subjected to searches.

The ban went into effect at Flint Community Schools on Monday, and it will last until the end of the school year. And if a student were to bring a backpack to school, parents or guardians must pick it up from the school.

This change was approved by the Flint Board of Education and the district’s administration and principals, with support from the Flint Police Department. A policy of firsts, because although it is not the first time a school bans backpacks, it is the first time a school goes so far as to ban clear ones as well.

This prohibition came after, due to unspecified threats, district officials locked down and then closed Southwestern Classical Academy for a day in April.

“Across the country, we have seen an increase in threatening behavior and contraband, including weapons, being brought into schools at all levels… 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,” said the district in an explanation for the prohibition.

The parents of this school district are not challenging this rule, and in fact, agree with it and express concerns that these measures are not enough. “You can hide anything anywhere. I would be still concerned because anything can happen” said Eisenhower Elementary parent Tyanna Martin.


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