Some schools are now banning backpacks to make 'every student feel safe’

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A small number of middle and high schools across the United States are banning students from carrying standard backpacks, citing safety concerns.
 According to the Miami Herald, schools in Florida, Ohio, and Illinois have already instituted bans following the deaths of 17 people during a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., earlier this month.
One school in Niles, Ohio, will only allow students to carry "small purses or lunch boxes," reports WKBN, in an effort to "make every student feel safe." School officials are considering giving students extra time between class to go to their lockers.
The day before the ban went into effect, the school had confronted a student who others had heard talking about school shootings. (He or she was not found to be a threat.) 
Another school, in Manatee County, Fla., made a similar decision to ban backpacks after recording threats to "more than a dozen" schools. Six students were later arrested.
"Students who may have thought that it was clever or funny to take this action," said Scott L. Hopes, Manatee County School Board member to WFLA. "The board and administration will take these threats quite seriously. If you're going to bring a weapon to school, you wouldn't hang it around your neck, you'd probably put it in a backpack."
Similar bans around the country are prompting students to get creative with how they are carrying their school supplies and books, utilizing clear, see-through backpacks or resorting to laundry baskets.
While seemingly an extreme method to maintain safety in schools today, banning backpacks is not new. Schools have prevented students from carrying backpacks since as early as 2005, when the Clark County School District in Las Vegas implemented a restriction.
However, back then, bans tended to be set to prevent "increasingly cluttered hallways and reported thefts," rather than to keep students safe from an active shooter.
"If a school is doing this in response to some sort of threat, it's just window dressing to create a visual cue that there is a perception of increased safety," Ken Trump, a an Ohio-based school safety and security expert, told Fox News in 2014. "The fact of the matter is that if someone wanted to get something into the school they could. It's something that makes people feel safe, but it actually doesn't make them safer."

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