Statement from Broward School Board Member Brenda Fam on new clear backpack policy:
Are clear backpacks effective in keeping weapons out of schools?
No, clear backpacks have not proven to keep weapons out of schools.
WHAT WE FOUND
“Clear bookbags are a well intended but relatively ineffective measure,” said Dorn.
Our experts explained clear bookbags are not effective in keeping weapons out of schools, and that as a result, crime does not necessarily go down because of them.
“When it comes to crimes, clear bookbags probably weigh on the lower tier,” explained Johnson. “A research paper in 2016, found that SRO’s and clear bookbags were associated with the increases in school violence.”
The three sources said that while the backpack may be clear, students still will be able to hide weapons inside.
“You can still hide a weapon inside of a cut out book, inside of clothing,” Hardy explained.
“One of my older sons works with us and he did a video with a clear backpack, elementary school size, putting 26 weapons hidden in it, including a shotgun, 12 hand guns, and a hand grenade and knives. So the bookbag may be clear, but it’s pretty easy to students will hollow out a book and put the weapon in the book or other contraband. They’ll wrap the weapon in clothing or a tennis shoe,” Dorn added
A BANDAID, NOT A CURE
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Clear backpacks wouldn’t have stopped the Uvalde slaughter or many other school shootings, National Association of School Resource Officers executive director Mo Canady told Patch.
“I think it’s an attempt at trying to do something,” Canady said, calling the policy an impractical response on its own because it’s easy to conceal weapons among clothing, books and other items inside.