A school district in Texas is banning all middle school and high school students from carrying backpacks on campus.
The DeSoto Independent School District will begin enforcing its no-backpack policy on Monday. The policy is intended as a safety measure, although it is unclear why the district decided to implement the rule now with just six weeks left in the school year.
The district has not revealed any recent incidents in which weapons were found on school grounds, but guns were brought to schools in neighboring districts last month alone.
An Arlington Lamar High School student brought a gun to school in his backpack and opened fire on his classmates, killing one student and injuring another. One student was shot in the school parking lot at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas and a student at William Monning Middle School in Fort Worth brought a gun on campus.
The DeSoto Independent School District is banning all middle school and high school students from carrying backpacks on campus. (DeSoto ISD)
Dallas ISD began requiring middle school students to use clear or mesh backpacks this year following the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde in 2022.
Middle and high school students at DeSoto ISD will have to carry their school supplies without backpacks. However, they will still be permitted to use a clutch or pencil bag the size of a sandwich bag.
“Books, papers and pens. Things that are essential for them to have in school, they need to have the items available to them,” parent Nakesha Williams told Fox 4. “What can you put in a sandwich bag? You can’t put your papers in there. If there are books, you can’t put books like that in there.”
A school district in neighboring Dallas began requiring middle school students to use clear or mesh backpacks this year following the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde. (Getty)
Williams’ son, Ray, told the outlet he also needs to bring home items from his sports locker room.
Students who still bring a backpack to campus are required to drop it off in a designated area and can pick it up after school. Students who participate in sports, band or other extracurricular activities will also have their own separate areas for bags.
Security in the district will also make regular rotations inside and outside of campuses.
Students who still bring a backpack to campus are required to drop it off in a designated area and can pick it up after school. (iStock)
According to school officials, the ban on backpacks allows staff to focus their attention on the students without having to take the time to search through bags.
DeSoto ISD also said campuses will limit hallway traffic during the school day, and that parents should pick up their children as close to the end of the school day as possible.