DHS Administration Creates New Backpack Policy


Students adapt to abiding by the new rules in place.

Matthew Yamamoto, Writer

On Nov. 28, Decatur High School Administrator Kevin Champion sent an email outlining a new rule regarding opaque backpacks. 

As a result of gun safety issues and school shootings throughout the United States in recent years, opaque backpacks are not permitted in DHS classrooms during the school day. DHS administrators have been enforcing this using a three-step process: a warning on a student’s first violation, detention on their second violation and Saturday school after their third violation. However, these consequences have not been as effective as the administration had hoped.

The update to policy shared in the email stated that Administrators and teachers will now search and confiscate opaque backpacks that are brought into classrooms or on the campus. They will then allow students to take what they need for the day, and bring the backpack to the front office where students can collect it at the end of the day. Along with this new practice, the original consequences remain in place.

“Some students are simply not obeying the clear bag policy,” Champion said, “And the consequences we have in place are not impacting behavior the way we want it to.” 

Students continue to bring opaque backpacks into classrooms and the administration believes that this threatens school safety.

Under the City Schools of Decatur Code of Conduct, this new practice is not a violation of privacy. “Opaque bags are in violation of our school policy, which automatically causes reasonable suspicion,” Champion explained. The Code of Conduct outlines that all students are entitled to a safe, secure, conducive learning environment and opaque bags contradict this right.

“We really just need your bags in your locker, or your bags to stay at home and you use clear bags, for the safety and security of everyone in this building,” Champion summarized.