“Things have changed,” Flint Community Schools Superintendent Kevelin Jones said, and it’s the only way to move forward. “For the most part, most of our families are putting measures in place before something happens,” he explained. Jones said backpacks make it easier for students to hide weapons.
This new policy comes amid continuous debate and conversations about how to keep children safe at school, which was renewed last month after a gunman shot and killed six people, including three 9-year-olds, at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee.
Last week, a teacher was “grazed” by a bullet when a handgun accidentally went off in a Knoxville, Tennessee high school classroom. Police said a 14-year-old student was charged in the incident and the gun was inside his backpack.
In January, a 6-year-old brought a handgun to his Virginia elementary school, which he reportedly brought in his backpack, before he used it to shoot his 25-year-old teacher.
“We live in a world that appears to be more dangerous for both parents, and children, and especially schools are a target,” said psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig.
That’s why Jones is taking the initiative with the backpack ban, which he claims adds another degree of security.
“We have wands, we have metal detectors in our buildings, we have heightened our personnel as it pertains to safety advocates,” he said. “We’re just trying to avoid it.” So far, there hasn’t been much criticism in our community over this.”
School officials in Miami-Dade County, Florida, encourage schools to implement a no-backpack rule during the last three days of school, but it is up to individual schools to do so.
Due to safety concerns, Broward County, Florida, schools adopted a backpack ban for the final week of school in June 2022.
Please stay connected with us on nogmagazine.com for more articles and recent news.