In response to the ongoing threat of school shootings in American schools, an entire school district in Flint, Michigan, has outright BANNED backpacks.
More Details Regarding The Michigan School District’s Backpack Ban
According to NBC News, the ban went into effect on Monday and was unanimously approved on April 25.
While some districts have mandated that students use clear backpacks, the Flint Community Schools Board of Education took it one step further. In fact, ALL bookbags were ultimately banned.
The board’s rationale is reportedly rooted in the observation that “backpacks make it easier for students to hide weapons.” It was also noted that transparent bookbags don’t satisfactorily address the issue, as “weapons can still easily be hidden.”
We should also add that the ban follows an increase in both school shootings and overall rates of gun violence, according to the National Center for Education Statistics and the Pew Research Center, respectively.
In a letter to parents, Superintendent Kevelin Jones stood by the decision.
“We have thought long and hard about this decision, knowing that it will impact how scholars and families prepare for their days and operations in the classroom.”
Currently, the ban is set to extend until the end of the school year.
The Ban Follows A Lockdown And Preceeds A Parent-Involved Shooting
Notably, the matter was proposed after a school in Flint was put on lockdown due to an unspecified “threat.”
Mid-Michigan Now reports that Southwestern Classical Academy was locked down for two days in April. In a statement, Superintendent Jones noted, “Across the country, threats, both online and in person, are happening at an alarming rate.”
“Yesterday, a threat was made against Southwestern Classical Academy and the building was put into lockdown and school was canceled today. Out of an abundance of caution, we have also decided to cancel classes at Southwestern Classical Academy tomorrow, Friday, April 21, while the police department continues its investigation on this matter.”
Just days later, the ban was approved, and it swiftly went into effect.
We should also add that, despite this new effort, two parents engaged in a shootout in the parking lot of Flint International Academy on Monday, according to Mid-Michigan Now. One parent was left in critical condition.
Recent Headlines Have Centered On Students Bringing Firearms In Backpacks
Additionally, the school district’s decision comes on the heels of preventable gun violence situations nationwide.
Last week, a father in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, was charged after ” accidentally placing” a gun in his child’s backpack.
Additionally — early this year — a 6-year-old in Newport News, Virginia, shot his teacher, Abigail Zwerner.
RELATED: VA Teacher Struck By 6-Year-Old Recalls Springing Into Action Despite ‘Serious’ Injury: ‘I Just Wanted To Get My Babies Out’
Eventually, the teacher filed a $40M lawsuit against administrators.
Shortly after, the child’s mother was charged with neglect.