Backpacks and lockers banned for Clayton County students

Superintendent bans backpacks and lockers to stop gun violence
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 11:16 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Backpacks and lockers are now part of the past for Clayton County students after a wave of weapons started flooding school campuses this semester.

Now parents are weighing in on the new changes that start Monday.

Clayton County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Morcease Beasley said there’s no perfect solution but this measure aims to make schools safer for students.

“There are those that we have had to address this year that seem to think it appropriate to bring weapons, in particular guns, BB guns, real or fake into our schools,” Dr. Beasley said.

Dr. Beasley and the school board have now decided on a new mitigation strategy.

“No bookbags or lockers will be used until the end of the school year.”

Starting on Monday middle and high school students in the Clayton County School District will have to carry all their belongings in their hands.

“The backpack thing is crazy, they should do the clear backpacks,” Clayton County School District parent Sage Blu said.

The parents we spoke to were split on the new safety measures.

“I think this is a good idea that should have been done a long time ago,” Clayton County School District legal guardian Antonio Moody said.

In addition to the backpack and locker ban, the districts said students will now be subject to random searches, will have to pass through metal detectors and will now see more police K-9 units on campus.

“He’ll be homeschooled,” Sage Blu said.

The superintendent admits it’s an unpopular decision but he’s still going to do everything to protect students and keep a closer eye on them.

“We will continue to ensure that our surveillance equipment is working and we will use the footage as necessary to prosecute violators who bring weapons of any form on our campuses,” Dr. Beasley said.

The new policy will be in place until the end of the school year.

The superintendent also told parents to enroll students in after-school programs and summer programs to make sure they don’t have idol time on their hands to engage in violence.