Nine schools handing out clear backpacks to prevent weapons in the classroom

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Schools is trying something new this year: giving kids at nine elementary schools clear backpacks to carry at school. Officials say it’s for safety reasons to help spot weapons.

But families in the Mid-South say they wish they knew about this before they did their back-to-school shopping.

Brittany Phillips’ 9-year-old little brother goes to Florida-Kansas Elementary School. One of the many that will be handing out clear backpacks.

“That’s crazy! We just bought backpacks,” she said.

Her little brother picked out a $30 camo-print backpack, but it doesn’t look like he’ll get to use it.

Phillips said, “I can understand middle and high school, but elementary school kids that have to wear clear backpacks for weapons?”

School board members told WREG the bags are being paid for through a grant, and they’re giving them to kids who feed into the problematic middle and high schools where they often see weapons.

Phillips thinks this is a little much for her 9-year-old brother.

“He usually comes home and tells me how his day went so that has never been brought up to me at all,” she said.

Her brother told us he feels safe at school.

“At my school over there kids aren’t bringing weapons. They are bringing toys,” he said.

As for the camo bag, Phillips says she’s not returning it just yet. She’s not sure how long these clear bags will last.

“They could’ve told us way before then I don’t understand why they chosen to do it now,” she said.

WREG has learned the principals will send home notice of these bags to the families, but we don’t know when that will happen.

The nine schools are:

AB Hill Elementary
Alcy Elementary
Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary
Egypt Elementary
Florida-Kansas Elementary
Hamilton Elementary
Knight Road Elementary
Lincoln Elementary
Westside Elementary

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