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South Florida schools will only permit clear backpacks, citing safety

The move comes after a school shooting threat posted to social media went viral in the area.
South Florida schools will only permit clear backpacks, citing safety
Posted at 2:02 PM, May 08, 2023

South Florida schools will only permit clear backpacks on campuses beginning in the fall. 

Broward County Public Schools says the measure will apply to all bags on school grounds, including backpacks, purses, lunch boxes, duffel bags and fanny packs. 

The rule applies to students of all grades, from kindergarten to grade 12. 

"The purpose of this requirement is to add an additional layer of safety across our district and provide added safeguards for our students, staff, and faculty. While backpacks are not mandatory, they must be clear and all contents within the backpack must be visible," Broward County Public Schools said in an announcement.

The added layer of precaution comes after a shooting threat to schools in South Florida went viral on social media.

The student behind the post, 18-year-old Catrina Petit of Taravella High School, was arrested after fraudulently using another student’s name to post a threat about an impending "top school slaughter."

The only exceptions to the clear bag policy are for thermal food containers carried inside clear lunch boxes, a small pouch for personal hygiene items, and school-approved carrying cases for sports or band equipment.
Student-athletes are still required to carry clear duffel bags, as the exceptions apply to approved cases for sports-specific equipment such as bats or lacrosse sticks. 

Students who do not comply with the clear backpack requirement will be "subject to search and appropriate disciplinary action," Broward County Public Schools said. 

Broward County is no stranger to the policy. Following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 people dead in 2018, students were required to carry clear backpacks. 

Clear backpacks were also distributed to students at Richneck Elementary School in Virginia after a 6-year-old boy shot his teacher in their classroom. 

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