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A Michigan school district has banned students from carrying backpacks

A supporter of President Donald Trump has a clear plastic backpack during a campaign rally at MBS International Airport, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, in Freeland, Mich.
Evan Vucci
/
AP
A supporter of President Donald Trump has a clear plastic backpack during a campaign rally at MBS International Airport, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, in Freeland, Mich.

A public school district in Flint, Michigan, has banned backpacks, citing safety concerns.

The ban went into effect at Flint Community Schools on Monday.

Instead, students will be able to carry clear plastic bags with gym clothes, lunchboxes, small purses containing personal items, such as hygiene products, wallets, keys and phones "within reason," the district said.

Those bags will still be subject to searches. If a backpack is brought to school, a student will be sent to the front office to call their parent or guardian to pick it up.

"Across the country, we have seen an increase in threatening behavior and contraband, including weapons, being brought into schools at all levels," the district said. "Backpacks make it easier for students to hide weapons, which can be disassembled and harder to identify or hidden in pockets, inside books or under other items."

The decision was approved by the Flint Board of Education, the district's principal and administration, and in collaboration with the Flint Police Department, Flint Community School said.

"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," it said. "However, based on the issues we continue to see across the country regarding school safety, we believe that this is the best solution for those we serve."

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Ayana Archie