LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Students at Lawton Public Schools will be back in the classrooms on August 9, with new supplies, uniforms and for the first year, clear or mesh backpacks.
“I think we need to be proactive about student safety," said Blake Thomas, Principal of Central Middle School. "We want every student to be safe and feel safe at school. We want to be proactive and not reactive on anything that might come up.”
LPS Chief of Police David Hornbeck said local retailers have had plenty of notice to stock their shelves with backpacks that adhere to the new policy.
“There shouldn’t be a problem locating these backpacks," said Chief Hornbeck. "You can find them online, there are a lot of different places to look. I’ve looked myself and the field is wide open where you can find these.”
Students are allowed to have non-transparent lunch boxes and girls can have small solid colored pouches for feminine products. When it comes to decorating the backpack, just follow one rule of thumb.
“The designs aren’t a problem for us as long as they don’t cover the overall backpack," said Chief Hornbeck. "We want to keep it so we can see through it and into it.”
Administrators say they encourage students to express themselves, but safety is the main priority.
“We’re looking for any contraband items, mainly weapons," Chief Hornbeck said. "But we’re also looking for tobacco products or illegal substances. We’ll be looking for that continually as well.”
If you have any questions regarding the new back pack policy, call your child’s principal or contact LPS Safety and Security. If you have issues finding these backpacks, several schools are selling them this week during check-in. Click here to see those check-in times. If you have yet to register your child for school, click here.