Broward County Public Schools only allowing clear backpacks, bags for upcoming school year

Public schools in Broward County will only be allowing students to carry clear backpacks and bags, beginning at the start of the 2023/24 school year, the school district announced Friday.

The new rule applies to all students from Pre-K to 12th grade.

“Providing safe learning environments that are conducive to student learning is of the highest importance, not just for Broward County Public Schools but for school districts across the nation,” BCPS Interim Superintendent Earlean C. Smiley said in a statement. “This added layer of security is a game-changer. It will allow school security personnel and everyone on campus to quickly spot and report if someone has brought a prohibited item to school, and it will also help serve as a deterrent.”

Lunch boxes, purses, duffel bags, fanny packs and any other type of bag must also be transparent, according to a news release from the school district.

Mesh and colored backpacks are not allowed, even if they are transparent.

The only exceptions that will be permitted are:

• a small non-transparent pouch for personal hygiene items

• thermal food containers carried inside clear lunch boxes

• school-approved sport-specific carrying cases for athletic equipment

• school-approved instrument-specific carrying cases for band equipment

“The new measure does not apply to teachers, staff, volunteers or visitors,” the news release stated.

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