ACPS ditches clear backpack requirement

Alachua County School District office and sign
Photo by Suzette Cook

One day after announcing it would require middle and high school students to use clear backpacks, Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS) rescinded the idea amid negative feedback.

According to an ACPS release, hearing from families about the potential impact of requiring students to have a clear backpack starting with the 2022-23 school year, the district reversed direction. 

“Families have shared very strong concerns with me and Board members about the use of clear backpacks,” said ACPS Superintendent Shane Andrew in the release. “I’ve spoken with Board members individually, with Chief Scott at GPD (Gainesville Police Department) and with Sheriff Watson at the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, and they agree we should spend more time discussing this and other safety proposals.”

The original recommendation came out of meetings between GPD and Alachua County Sheriff’s Office representatives with district staff about youth violence and school security. 

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Andrew said the security discussions will continue and that the district will be gathering input from families, students, employees and other community partners regarding potential strategies to promote safety on school campuses.

“These are very complicated issues, and there are no easy solutions,” said Andrew. “We need to work collaboratively to make sure our students and all citizens are safe in our schools and in the community.”

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