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South Bend schools hope clear backpacks prevent guns in schools


Responding to an alarming trend of guns in schools, South Bend Community School Corporation plans to allow only clear backpacks.

Superintendent Todd Cummings made the announcement at the school board meeting Monday night. The policy takes effect next school year and Cummings said the schools will give students their first clear backpack.

“Safety and security is our top priority in the district, so next year everyone will be required to have a clear backpack,” Cummings said. “There will be more information coming. We just wanted to make sure that we let parents and family members know as soon as possible.”

The news comes about a month after students were found with guns at Riley High School and Jackson Middle School on the same day in unrelated cases.

In Indianapolis, the Decatur Township schools in March also decided to only allow clear backpacks starting next school year, after guns also were found twice in district schools this year. In Grand Rapids Public Schools, a ban on all backpacks took effect Thursday.

Cummings noted that clear backpacks have been piloted this school year at the corporation’s Navarre Middle School and its four feeder elementary schools.

Parrott, a longtime public radio fan, comes to WVPE with about 25 years of journalism experience at newspapers in Indiana and Michigan, including 13 years at The South Bend Tribune. He and Kristi live in Granger and have two children currently attending Indiana University in Bloomington. In his free time he enjoys fixing up their home, following his favorite college and professional sports teams, and watching TV (yes that's an acceptable hobby).