Broward County Public Schools implements clear backpack policy to enhance safety measures
Broward County, Florida – In an effort to bolster security and safety, one of Florida’s largest school districts, Broward County Public Schools, has announced that students will be required to carry only clear backpacks starting next year. The new policy, set to take effect on August 21, extends to lunch boxes, handbags, fanny packs, and duffel bags.
The decision comes more than five years after the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland where 17 individuals lost their lives in 2018. The high school, situated within Broward County, implemented a transparent backpack policy for five months following the incident before abandoning it in August 2018.
Interim Superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, Earlean Smiley, stated that this “additional layer of safety is a unique advantage,” enabling school safety personnel and others on campus to quickly spot and report any prohibited items.
There will be some exceptions to the rule, such as small non-transparent pouches for personal hygiene products, insulated food containers, and school-approved cases for athletic or band equipment. The policy will apply to all enrolled students from pre-K to twelfth grade but will not include teachers, staff, volunteers, and visitors.
Despite the emphasis on safety, some students have expressed concerns about privacy. They argue that individuals intent on bringing weapons to school will find alternative ways, rendering the clear backpack policy ineffective.