Texas School District to Require Clear or Mesh Backpacks, Limit Bag Size

The implementation of the small bag and clear backpack policies is intended to improve campus security.

Texas School District to Require Clear or Mesh Backpacks, Limit Bag Size

In an effort to improve school security, the Ector County Independent School District (ISD) in Texas will limit the size of bags carried on campus and will only allow clear or mesh backpacks at its schools next year.

The new policy will take place beginning with the 2020-21 school year, which starts in August, reports MRT.com.

Students participating in athletic and fine arts programs will be able to leave their duffle bags in their locker rooms or rehearsal halls. Purses and bags will need to measure no more than 5 inches by 8 inches by 1 inch.

Books will be able to be stored in student lockers at district’s middle schools and high schools.

Ector ISD officials have begun notifying local retailers about the new backpack and bag requirements.

Some other districts around the nation have also banned non-clear backpacks.

Last summer, South River High School in New Jersey began requiring students to only use clear backpacks while in the hallways.

Two years ago, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, began requiring its students to only use clear backpacks. The move was prompted by the February 14, 2018 mass shooting on the campus.

Bulletproof backpacks have also grown in popularity. These backpacks have bulletproof inserts that are said to be able to stop multiple bullet rounds, although the effectiveness of these backpacks at preventing an injury or death from an active shooter is highly questionable.

Some institutions of higher education have implemented clear bag policies for their events. Beginning in the 2017 football season, all schools in the Southeastern Conference began prohibiting non-clear bags larger than 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches at their stadiums. Other large Division I schools, as well as some high schools, have followed suit.

Boise State’s policy went into effect this year, while the University of Utah’s went into effect in 2018.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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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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