New NEISD policy difficult for some parents

August 10, 2018

As a new school year approaches, families throughout North East Independent School District have begun the annual task of back-to-school shopping. But with a new policy in place requiring all NEISD students’ backpacks to be transparent, some parents have found that more difficult than usual.

“We went to HEB, we went to Target, we went to Walmart, and could not find (them),” said Lisa Owens, the mother of two MacArthur HS students. “There were lots of backpacks, but (we) could not find any clear backpacks.”

She eventually gave up and bought the backpacks online through Amazon.

NEISD reported having over 67,000 students in 2017. The new policy only applies to middle and high school students, but that still leaves upwards of 36,000 students in need of a clear backpack if they don’t have one already.

The clear backpacks policy was implemented in the wake of mass school shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Santa Fe High School and elsewhere. But at the end of the day, some are skeptical that it will change anything.

“I applaud the district for trying to do something to make our kids feel safer,” Owens said. “My kids don’t feel safer, necessarily, because of clear backpacks — they’ve rolled their eyes at the idea. But I realize that the district’s hands are somewhat tied in (terms of) further action that could take place to prevent the kind of tragedies that we’ve seen at Parkland (Florida) and Santa Fe.”

Brian Contreras is a San Antonio Express-News staff writer. | brian.contreras@express-news.net | Twitter: @_B_Contreras_

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