Symmes Valley updates policy on book bags, backpacks

Published 1:14 pm Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Students in grades 6-12 no longer allowed to bring bags to school

WILLOW WOOD — Junior and high school students returning to classes at Symmes Valley Schools this fall will no longer be allowed to carry backpacks or book bags to school.

Safety and security administrator Randy Boggs said the decision was made out of concerns for school safety and had been discussed by the board and superintendent Darrell Humphreys.

“It’s going to be an added layer of security, at no cost to the district,” Boggs said.

He said recent school shootings across the nation, combined with threats made locally, prodded the decision.

“With events going on in the country, we have to change nationally and locally. Locally, we had a bomb threat. We were one for the schools victimized by that.”

He added that statistics showed most incidents originated from within a school.

“This will make that more difficult,” he said.

Boggs said the new policy, affecting grades six through twelve, would go into effect with the start of the 2018-19 school year.

“I’ve talked to the board about it,” he said. “I think it’s a no brainer for us.”

He also added that students in extracurricular activities would be allowed to bring bags for equipment, which would be stored in secure locations in the junior and high school buildings during classes.

Boggs said students in kindergarten through fifth grades would still be allowed to carry bags.

Humphrey said the policy was agreed to by the board in a vote.

“This is a proactive matter to keep our kids safe,” he said.

He said the school was looking into other measures, such as safety tinting and reinforcement for windows.