Flint Community Schools Ban All Backpacks

Safety concerns prompted the backpack ban in Flint, Michigan schools. It went into effect on Monday.

Flint Community Schools Ban All Backpacks

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Flint, Michigan – In response to growing safety concerns, Flint Community Schools has banned all backpacks on campus, even clear ones. The policy went into effect on Monday and will remain in place through the end of the year.

Small purses with personal items (i.e., hygiene products, wallets, keys, phone, etc.), clear plastic bags with gym clothes, and lunchboxes will be allowed “within reason.” All of these bags will still be subject to search.

“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 Flint Community Schools Superintendent Kevelin Jones in a letter posted on the district’s website. “Clear backpacks do not completely fix this issue. 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 change in policy was approved by the Flint Board of Education, the district’s administration and principals, with support from the Flint Police Department and other safety advocates.

“… based on the issues we continue to see across the country regarding school safety, we believe that this is the best solution for those we serve,” Jones said.

Although many districts, such as Oxford Community Schools, require students to only carry clear backpacks, it’s unusual for districts to ban backpacks completely.

“We take threats against our school community and weapons brought onto school property very seriously, and parents and scholars should understand there are legal ramifications to both of these actions,” Jones said in his letter. We encourage all family members to continue an open dialogue with our scholars about their safety concerns and well-being. It takes a community approach and we ask that you help us inform our scholars about reporting threats responsibly and appropriately, and, when action is required, to contact school officials directly or through the State of Michigan’s OK2SAY tip line at 8-555-OK2SAY or OK 2SAY@mi.gov if they hear of any potentially dangerous situations.”

Correction: This article has been corrected. Texarkana ISD does not require students carry clear backpacks, although the district was considering doing so last year. 

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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