Glen Oaks Magnet High requiring clear or mesh bookbags; could others follow?

Only clear or mesh backpacks will be allowed on campus.
Only clear or mesh backpacks will be allowed on campus.(Glen Oaks Magnet High)
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 11:12 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2022 at 10:27 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Students attending Glen Oaks Magnet High School will have to adhere to a new backpack protocol, according to school officials.

Only clear or mesh backpacks will be allowed on campus.

Other principals at schools across the district have had the policy in place for years now.

“It’s not just Glen Oaks or Glascow, it’s several other schools that utilize the mesh bookbags,” said Dadrius Lanus, EBR School Board Member for District 2.

Lanus represents that area on the school board, and believes more campuses across Baton Rouge should consider the policy.

“Again, just changing it up from your clear bags, makes it easier to spot and detect whether or not a student has a weapon on them, or they’re trying to bring a weapon on campus,” he said.

East Baton Rouge Parish School System officials say it’s a policy each school can make on its own.

“The East Baton Rouge Parish School System is NOT requiring students district-wide to carry clear backpacks or school bags this year. As you know, our school leaders have the autonomy to implement specific protocols as they fit the needs of their campuses, and this is a singular example of Glen Oaks Magnet High School implementing such a policy,” said a spokeswoman with EBR Schools.

“Do think this should be a policy across the entire district,” questioned WAFB’s Lester Duhe’.

“I think so, absolutely. I think in the state of where we are in our society, we have to take every added precaution, to ensure that our students are safe, our teachers are safe, and our schools are safe,” said Lanus.

It’s a policy other school districts across the country and even just an hour up the road are implementing this summer.

Just a week ago, Lafayette Parish School officials implemented a clear or mesh backpack, purse, handbag, and lunch box policy.

“I definitely feel that this is an additional safety measure worthy of full discussion. It’s a great idea that more of our schools should consider,” said Jill Dyason, EBR School Board Member for District 6.

WAFB reached out to leaders at Livingston, Iberville and Ascension Parish Schools. None of them have a clear bag policy on their campuses.

But board member Dyason says, the decision should be left up to each school.

“So I like the school based decision making and some school based autonomy on this, but I would be open for discussion on this, if we had gotten that kind of input,” she said.

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