Texas Students Might Soon Be Required to Wear Clear Backpacks

The state's second-biggest school board announced students would be forced to use clear backpacks, but now they're reviewing the policy.

In a since-deleted post, a Dallas school district announced its students would be forced to wear clear backpacks in the upcoming school year, ostensibly as a means of preventing school shootings. 

The post by Dallas Independent School District—the second largest in Texas—said the rule would apply to all elementary, middle, and high school students and will help “ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff.” It also said the district had already purchased the backpacks, which would be handed out to all students. 

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The school district has since said the policy is not set in stone, according to the Dallas Morning News

“That very well could shift in the coming weeks as our senior leaders and others look at what would be best for the upcoming school year,” district spokeswoman Robyn Harris told the newspaper. 

The deleted announcement comes less than two months after the Robb Elementary School shooting, in which an 18-year-old shot and killed 19 students and two teachers. 

The school district’s deleted post said being able to see what students are carrying in their backpacks will “ensure that prohibited items are not included among the students’ belongings. Clear backpacks will also speed up students entering the school at the beginning of the day because opening and inspecting every backpack will not be required.” 

If the school district goes ahead with the measure, it won’t be alone; other districts in Texas, Florida, and Michigan already require clear backpacks or are in the process of implementing them.   

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Students at Broward County Public Schools in Parkland, Florida, had to start wearing clear backpacks in 2018, after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

At the time, several students told VICE News the policy made them feel like they were being policed rather than feeling safer. Some said they were concerned about the lack of privacy when carrying items like tampons or medication while others said they were “ugly” and smelled weird. 

Dallas Independent School District said students would be allowed to carry a small non-transparent pouch inside their backpacks for personal items. 

Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter.  


Tagged:

Crime, guns, texas, gun control, education, school shootings

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