Year of the Clear: More Districts Requiring Clear Backpacks At Schools

When kids go back to school soon, middle and high school students in some local districts will be required to have clear backpacks.  Cy Fair ISD announced a new clear backpack policy and Spring ISD has expanded their policy to all middle and high school students.  The idea is the clear bags will be a deterrent and make it harder for someone to bring a weapon on campus.

Parker Glenn and his twin sisters are getting ready to go back to school. Their school doesn't require clear backpacks, but they agreed to look at one designed by a Houston woman following the shooting at Santa Fe High School. 

"I think a lot of people would be upset because they have expensive backpacks.  That's the biggest
issue they would have.  Although I think if it was implemented people would get over it.  It wouldn't be a concern years later," said Glenn.

Joy Chapman's clear backpack is called My Safe Case. 

"I started researching it and found most of the clear backpacks available are really small, and maybe not the best quality," said Chapman.

Chapman's backpack is more than 19 inches tall, can hold two inch binders and has been tested on up to 50 pounds.  It retails for $49. 

"It's got a little privacy pouch here, one or two personal items, not big enough for a handgun or anything like that," she said.

She believes the clear backpack is a deterrent to school violence.

"For these tragedies to happen there's so many things that have to line up in a bad way, that if we can throw a monkey wrench , create a deterrent, add a layer of security that will prevent that, even if it saves one child's life, why wouldn't we do that?"

After the school shooting in Parkland, FL earlier this year some students were skeptical about having to carry clear backpacks.  They called them an invasion of privacy and a meaningless gesture that was a distraction from real reform.

"I think the most important step would be metal detectors. in places that have metal detectors very difficult to get weapons that can do serious damage in," said Glenn.

One parent we spoke with believes the clear backpacks would provide peace of mind.

"I just don't want my kids being scared thinking someone has a gun and i think these backpacks will deter kids from bringing guns to school," said Jacqueline Smooke.