South Bend School Corporation introduces clear backpack policy

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- South Bend School students will soon have to say goodbye to their favorite backpacks because next school year, they have to be clear! 

The South Bend School Corporation made the announcement Tuesday that all students will have to bring clear backpacks with them to school. It’s a new policy taking effect in August for all South Bend schools, elementary to high school. 

“I feel like it will certainly help, I don’t know if it’s just enough,” says a South Bend school parent, Jessica Harrison. 

Are clear backpacks the answer to the problem of weapons being brought into South Bend schools? 

Parents say the new policy is a step in the right direction. 

“The clear backpacks would keep it safer with all the weapons that are being brought into South Bend schools,” says Harrison. 

It’s a scary trend; multiple weapons being retrieved from student’s backpacks in South Bend schools. In April, two weapons were found by school officials on the same day; one at Riley High School and the other at Jackson Middle School. Shots were even fired on a South Bend school bus in the beginning of the school year. 

Even students agree the policy will help to keep them safer in the classroom, like fourth grader Zion, who tells me her mom just ordered her clear backpack today. 

“I feel like it’s going to help keep us safe and that it’s going to stop from people bringing guns into school,” says Zion Johnson, a 4th grader at Kennedy Academy. 

Officials say the goal is to make each South Bend school a safer place and prevent any tragedies. Parents say it’s a much-needed lesson for kids that there is no room for weapons at school. 

“Kids today are not understanding the consequences of bringing weapons to school, so yes I feel like it’s needed,” Harrison says. 

All South Bend school students will receive a clear backpack ahead of the new school year. 

The school corporation will be holding a press conference about the new policy on Wednesday, where school officials will address specific questions regarding the clear backpacks. In the meantime, the district’s website has posted frequently asked questions for parents on their website 

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