Clear backpacks only at South Bend Schools starting in 2023-24 school year

(Photo supplied/South Bend Community School Corporation)

You can add South Bend Schools to the list of school districts that will allow only clear backpacks.

The policy will take effect when school begins in August.

The goal is that clear backpacks will be a deterrent for harmful and prohibited items and allow for safer school buildings.

The corporation will give each student one backpack for free before the school year begins.

Full statement from the South Bend Community School Corporation:

As an added security and safety measure, the South Bend Community School Corporation announced at Monday evening’s Board meeting that starting in the new 2023-24 school year, the district will permit only clear backpacks on all campuses. The new school year starts on August 16, 2023.

“We join many other districts across the country in introducing this simple measure that allows for safer buildings and work environments,” said Eric Crittendon, the district’s security and emergency preparedness director. “Transparent bags will not solve every school’s safety issues, but it certainly serves as a deterrent for harmful and prohibited items.”

The South Bend Community Schools will provide one clear backpack free of charge for students ahead of the coming academic year. Free bags will also be made available to all who attend the district’s annual “Back-to-School-Bash” to be held at Brown Community Learning Center on August 12 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and additional opportunities for distribution will be communicated as the school year approaches.

Mesh or colored backpacks are not acceptable, even if they are transparent. Students are allowed to carry within their backpacks a non-clear pouch no larger than 5.5” x 8.5” to hold personal items.

A list of frequently asked questions will be available at

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Adam May 17, 2023 at 10:09 am

Like this is going to stop a student that doesn’t follow the rules in the first place. He or she could easily conceal something within the clear backpack. A hollowed out book or something wrapped in a T-shirt.

They might have to go to TSA type airport security measures. The clear backpacks are a false sense of security unless they are being searched at the door.

Charles U Farley May 17, 2023 at 9:27 pm

A false sense of security is the only kind Democrats can ever provide. Actual security involves personal responsibility and unpleasant truths, so they avoid it at all costs.


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