Flint schools considering backpack policy change following threat

School hallway (FILE)
School hallway (FILE)
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 1:44 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - Flint Community Schools is considering a policy change regarding the use of backpacks following a threat toward one of its schools.

The policy proposal comes after the district canceled class at the Accelerated Learning Academy on Jan. 18 following a threat. The details of the threat were not released.

“At Flint Community Schools, we take any and all threats made against our school community very seriously. When it comes to the safety of our school community, we will not take any chances, so in an abundance of caution, we determined it was in the best interest of our scholars, families, teachers, staff, and visitors to cancel classes,” Superintendent Kevelin Jones said.

The district said it is working with law enforcement to investigate the situation.

As a result of the situation, a proposal was made for the district to move to clear backpacks for elementary-aged students and ban backpacks for middle and high school students.

“While our existing safety measures have kept scholars, families, teachers, staff, and visitors safe, we are always looking at ways to improve. The proposed change to our backpack policy would help stop weapons and other illegal items from being carried into our building,” Jones said. “We understand that this is a major change for our scholars, but we believe it is necessary to create a safe environment.”

The district’s board of education would have to approve the proposal before the policy change is made.

“If passed by the Flint Board of Education, we would ensure that middle and high school scholars have all of the resources they need to make backpacks unnecessary, and we would work with our K-6 scholars and their families to supply clear backpacks,” Jones said.

The district said it will release additional details on this policy in the weeks and months ahead.