Clear backpacks mandatory for all South River Public Schools students

The South River School District has announced extra steps to enhance school security -- requiring all students to use clear backpacks this upcoming school year – but some students say the policy has gone too far.

News 12 Staff

Aug 1, 2022, 4:12 PM

Updated 681 days ago

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The South River School District has announced extra steps to enhance school security -- requiring all students to use clear backpacks this upcoming school year – but some students say the policy has gone too far.
"I was even angrier,” says Victor Gil, South River High School student. “I wrote a letter to the school saying that it's not fair to the young generation. What can the younger generation do really?"
All South River Public Schools students will be required to wear transparent backpacks this school year. South River High School students have been doing using the bags for a few years now, but it has recently been extended to all students.
District leaders say one clear backpack will be provided at no cost to parents or students, or parents can purchase their own. Each school will announce the backpack pickup days.
"I think they're good for the high school and maybe the middle school, but like primary school and elementary school I don't think need them because that's kindergarten through fifth grade and I just really don't think they need them,” says Patrick McDonnell, South River High School student. “The kids are too young. They really can't cause any big damage to the school."
In a statement from district Superintendent Sylvia Zircher, she says, "The use of clear backpacks is just an extra measure in keeping prohibited items from entering our schools.  Our high school has participated in the use of clear backpacks since school year 2019. This year, for consistency and extended security, we are expanding this procedure to all our schools.”
Non-transparent small handbags for personal items and lunch boxes are still permitted.


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