x
Breaking News
More () »

LIST: Clear backpack policies for Central Texas school districts

Two Central Texas schools announced clear backpack policies – but some experts say it does not increase school safety.

CENTRAL, Texas — More Central Texas schools have announced clear/see-through backpack requirements for the upcoming school year. 

Many of the school districts in our area require clear bags at sporting events and other activities, but more districts are making them mandatory in the classroom. 

So far, Del Valle and Manor school districts have announced this policy change for grades 6-12. Bastrop ISD said it's finalizing a clear bag policy and will send parents and staff an update soon.

Some parents are thankful for any safety enhancements, while some say it hurts the good kids and others say it just won't help. 

Two school safety experts, Michael Dorn with Safe Havens International and Mo Canady with the National Association of School Resource Officers, said clear backpacks are well intended but will not increase school safety because people can still easily hide items. 

"Basically, what students typically do is just hide the item, whatever the contraband is, in another object, like a hollowed-out book or clothing," said Dorn. "There are a lot of containers that you can buy that look like a Dorito chip bag." 

"We're still likely going to have to search, or we're going to wind up unintentionally creating a false sense of security," said Canady.

Both said school safety requires many layers and clear backpacks are at the very bottom. Canady said districts should stick to the basics and ensure doors are locked, properly working and have additional safety protocols. 

Dorn said most violence on campuses stems from interpersonal conflict, so when it comes to safety, addressing the culture of a school is essential. He also suggested technology like electronic hall passes. 

"If we can reduce incidents, do student supervision, things like an electronic hall passes, we reduce expulsions, arrests, suspensions of students," said Dorn. 

Both experts said a clear bag wouldn't have stopped what happened in Uvalde.

We reached out to local districts that have enforced clear bag rules to see if they've helped, but we have not heard back yet.

Here are clear backpack policies across Central Texas districts:

Austin ISD

Austin ISD doesn't have a clear backpack policy, but it does have a clear bag policy for events and football games.

Bastrop ISD


Beginning in August 2022, all events at a Bastrop ISD venue will have a clear bag policy for spectators.

Del Valle ISD

This week, Del Valle ISD announced all students in grades 6-12 must have a clear or see-through backpack for the upcoming school year.

DVISD created a clear backpack policy applying only to Del Valle High School in October 2021 after a student reportedly brought a BB gun to school.

Dripping Springs ISD

Dripping Springs ISD doesn't have a clear backpack policy, but it does have a clear bag policy for events and football games.

Elgin ISD

Elgin ISD doesn't have a clear backpack policy, but it does have a clear bag policy for events and football games.

Harper ISD

Last month, Harper ISD said students – not mentioning if this means both middle and high school students – will need a clear backpack. A post from the district's Facebook page said Vic's Exotics and Exotic T's Screen Print and Embroidery "ordered clear backpacks for every HISD student."

Hays CISD

Hays ISD doesn't have a clear backpack policy, but it does have a clear bag policy for events and football games.

Hutto ISD

Hutto ISD doesn't have a clear backpack policy, but it does have a clear bag policy for events and football games.

Lake Travis ISD

Lake Travis ISD doesn't have a clear backpack policy, but it does have a clear bag policy for events and football games.

Leander ISD

Leander ISD doesn't have a clear backpack policy, but it does have a clear bag policy for events and football games.

Liberty Hill ISD

Liberty Hill ISD doesn't have a clear backpack policy, but it does have a clear bag policy for events and football games.

Manor ISD

Manor ISD announced via its Facebook page on Monday that middle and high school students must have a clear backpack. 

Pflugerville ISD

Pflugerville ISD doesn't have a clear backpack policy, but it does have a clear bag policy for events and football games.

Round Rock ISD

Round Rock ISD doesn't have a clear backpack policy, but it does have a clear bag policy for events and football games.

PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING:

Central Texans experiencing summer sticker shock over high electric bills

Video goes viral after brawl on the River Walk, police provide context

6 adults, 2 children transported to local hospitals after collision on Bastrop Highway

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out