GRPS Lifts Their Backpack Ban Before the Start of 2023-24 School Year
Being a parent and sending your child to school can be a little scary these days. With the rising number of gun-related incidents in schools, some parents may feel like they're putting their kids in harm's way just by sending them to school.
In fact, during the 2022-2023 school year, Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) had four gun-related incidents. Thankfully, they were all well-handled and nothing bad happened.
However, two of them happened within a week of each other at Elementary schools, which really upset administrators and parents alike, and this sparked the end-of-the-year backpack ban.
A lot of parents wanted something to change, but they said they didn't like the idea of the backpack ban because it not only punishes students who did nothing wrong, but it also makes it harder for kids to carry their things to and from school.
The backpack ban was supposed to continue into the new school year. Over the summer, they must have taken the time to look over their plan because GRPS announced it is going to lift its districtwide backpack ban after new safety measures were put in place to keep students safe.
Instead, they are recommending that parents outfit their children with clear backpacks to help them monitor what students are bringing to school. But, this is not required.
Other safety measures planned include:
- More random screenings.
- Prevention programs for students returning after being expelled.
- Mental health support.
- Parent-focused safety resources.
- Partnership with Silent Observer for anonymous reports.
- Safety assessment of district buildings.
- Weapon detection technology.
- Training to promote safety and prevent violence.
So parents who feel any concern about the backpack ban being overturned can rest assured that the district is still taking the potential threat seriously.
All of this is subject to change at any time, so parents it's important to keep yourself informed with what is happening with the district and inside your own child's classroom.