Delaware school district mandates students carry clear backpacks amid enhanced security measures

The move comes after a student in the Seaford School District brought a gun and knife to school.

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Students wearing clear back packs in Philly

The Seaford School District in Delaware is requiring students to carry transparent backpacks, as seen worn here by students in Philadelphia. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

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Middle and high school students at Seaford School District will have to use clear backpacks to carry their supplies when they return to class this fall as the district institutes a new policy designed to ensure students’ safety.

It’s the latest step the district has taken to prepare for and ideally prevent a school incident similar to what’s been experienced all over the country in recent years, from Parkland, Florida to Uvalde, Texas.

“Both the middle school principal and the high school principal talked about going to clear book bags similar to the process that you see a lot of sporting events, concerts and things like that,” said Jason Cameron, the district’s assistant superintendent.

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He notes it will greatly ease the process of passing through the weapons detector.

“One of the things with the weapon detection at first was, especially in our high school every student has a Chromebook, their Chromebooks have to come out of the bookbag and before they go through the weapon detection or otherwise, the weapons detection system is set off by the Chromebooks,” he said.

While this may be new to many students, parents and guardians, the district will coordinate with vendors to ensure clear book bags are easily available in the coming months.

Seaford was among the first districts in the state to install an enhanced security system with metal detectors for large events like football games and graduations.

“We got weapon detection systems last year for big events, [for] athletic events, graduation and so on and so forth,” Cameron said. “We did use them for middle school sporting events inside as well last year.”

But after a student brought a gun and knife to school in May, the weapons detection system became a daily routine for students.

“Unfortunately, we had an incident where a student did bring a firearm to school. Once we had that, we began each morning, the high school students had to go through the weapons detection system upon arrival,” Cameron said.

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Since then, district leaders have discussed what other procedures they could implement to better ensure students’ safety.

“We are going to purchase some more weapon detection systems to use at the high school,” Cameron said. “We purchased two additional systems that we can use in other buildings if need be.”

There will be a total of six weapon detectors in the district: two are designated for use at any school for larger events, while four are used daily at Seaford High School.

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