LAURINBURG — Since making the decision last week to require students in all grades to carry clear bookbags beginning next month, the school system has been inundated with questions.
In a lengthy post on the school district’s website, school officials answered some of the most frequently asked questions and went into more detail about what type of bookbags will be allowed, if the bags can be decorated and where they can be purchased.
The recommendation from the administration that will require all students to carry clear backpacks was made during the Board of Education’s monthly meeting on July 9 and the six members of the board in attendance agreed.
The clear bags allow school officials to more easily see what’s inside each child’s book bag to prevent students from concealing a weapon.
The district will provided students with padded cases to protect their Chromebooks, since the clear bookbags will provide less protection for the technology than a standard backpack.
Students and parents should note that the clear bookbags cannot be made out of colored or tinted plastic however, students will still be permitted to carry lunch boxes, purses, pocketbooks, pencil pouches and cosmetic bags for personal hygiene products.
During open houses and the first few days of school, students will be given a “luggage type tag that they can attach to their bookbags” since they will not be allowed to personalize the bags with stickers.
“They can put a sticker on the luggage tag if they so choose, also, no embroidery will be allowed on the bookbags,” according to school officials.
Students will be permitted to carry white or light grey mesh bags for gym clothes, a change of clothes for practice or a uniform, which will be provided to student athletes.
“Parents/guardians will have the option to purchase a white or grey mesh bag, but coaches will be providing athletes with a bag,” the post stated.
The most frequently asked question is where can parents purchase the clear bookbags.
“There are a few in town at some of the local retailers, but Walmart will have a shipment of over 2,000 in before the end of next week,” the statement said. “The retail price will be $9.88 (plus tax). They will order more if needed and parents/guardians can always order online if they choose. Again, book bags are not required; they are an optional school supply.”
As of Thursday afternoon Walmart had not received any clear bookbags, the shipment they were scheduled to receive was on backorder. Parents can purchase the bookbags from Walmart.com, click here, where a variety of sizes and styles are available. The estimated in-store pick-up date for a clear bookbag at the Laurinburg Walmart is July 26, according to www.walmart.com.
The Walmart in Pembroke, Bennettsville, S.C., and Raeford currently have the clear bookbags in stock. Amazon has a variety of clear bookbags, ranging in price from $11.99 to $39.97 depending on size and accessories included.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]