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Citing safety concerns, Michigan school district bans backpacks

Flint Community Schools has banned backpacks in school buildings for the remainder of the academic year.
Citing safety concerns, Michigan school district bans backpacks
Posted at 10:55 AM, May 04, 2023

Students at Flint Community Schools in Michigan are no longer allowed to carry backpacks to class.

The school district implemented a new policy this month that bars students from bringing backpacks into school buildings. 

"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 superintendent Kevelin Jones in a letter to parents. 

The new policy carves out which types of bags are acceptable for use in school. They include small purses, clear plastic bags to carry gym clothes, and lunch boxes. 

Jones notes that the bags could still be subject to a search by school officials. 

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It's unclear whether a specific incident prompted the ban on backpacks. However, Flint Southwest Classical Academy reportedly closed for a day in April due to a threat. In a statement to MLive-The Flint Journal, Jones said the district was working with law enforcement to investigate the situation. No further information was provided. 

In his letter to parents, Jones didn't mention Flint Southwest Classical Academy. Instead, he referenced "issues we continue to see across the country regarding school safety."

The new policy, which was approved by the school board, will be in effect for the remainder of the academic year. 

"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.

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