CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Corpus Christi Independent School District's clear backpack policy has caused many parents to question if their children can decorate their backpacks with stickers.
KRIS 6 News spoke with the district regarding the questions and concerns that people have about the new backpack policy.
Ron Kanipes, the Director of Attendance, Admission, and Student Support Services for CCISD, said that the policy is to keep students and staff safe.
“We implemented the clear backpack policy for student and staff safety. It’s because of all the recent ongoing incidents that have happened across the state and the country,” Kanipes said.
As reported earlier this year, CCISD recently implemented a clear backpack policy, requiring all students to use clear backpacks. The school’s administration said the policy is part of an effort to increase school security.
"The purpose of the backpack is to be able to see through it to make sure there is nothing inappropriate inside of the backpack,” Kanipes said. “They're allowed to have the logo of the backpack designer on the backpack, as long as it is small, but I believe stickers will impede the administration from being able to see inside of the backpack, so it kind of defeats the purpose."
Despite the clear backpack policy's implementation, parents have raised the question, can students personalize their transparent backpacks with stickers and decorations?
In response to the parental inquiry, CCISD administrators have provided KRIS 6 News clarity on the matter regarding backpack decoration.
“For personal items like cellphone, money, or keys, they’re allowed a small clutch, purse, or bag,” Kanipes said.
The size of the bag that is allowed to be inside of the clear backpack must be 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches.
“They can have a non-clear lunch bag inside the backpack, but always in any incident, if the administration feels that there is a reason to search the backpack, they have the authority to do so only if they have reasonable cause, “he said.
According to a comment on the CCISD’s Facebook page under the district’s backpack policy post, many have been voicing their opinions.
A user by the name of Sarai commented that this new policy is, ‘Killing the illusion and excitement of kids buying a new backpack for a new school year.’
KRIS 6 News asked Kanipes ‘can you talk about supporting students who may not feel excited about coming to school because of the backpack policy? What options are out there for students to show their identity within their backpacks?’
“I haven’t really thought of that question too much. I am not really sure. I will have to get back to you on that one,” Kanipes replied.
According to CCISD administrators, students are not permitted to decorate their clear backpacks with stickers, provided that the decorations could obstruct the clear view of the bag's contents.
“So, the backpack is clear, but the binding around it can be different colors. We have some that are blue, red, green,” he said. “The purpose is to be able to see inside the backpack, so we want the backpack to be clear.”
Kanipes said that parents should not allow the clear backpack policy to worry them about their students’ sense of identity.
“They have other ways to express themselves and their individuality in other means, but the backpack policy is about student safety and staff safety. We feel like that overrides any other concerns that parents may have,” he said.
Kanipes added that he believes the policy will help everyone feel safer on CCISD campuses.
He hopes that the students, staff, and parents feel that the schools are even safer by having a clear backpack policy.
Kanipes said that parents can purchase clear backpacks at the school properties for $15. The clear backpack policy will take place on the first day of school.