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Shooters Can’t Be Stopped By Clear Backpacks, But Schools Can Be Made Stronger

Dallas Independent School District (DISD) announced this week that all students in grades 6 through 12 will adopt clear or mesh bags beginning in the fall of 2022 to deter kids from bringing illegal items like weapons to class.

The move was proposed by DISD's Safety Task Force and Internal Task Force following the Uvalde school shooting in May, according to corporate media coverage of the district's new policy.

The DISD bag regulation is unlikely to solve issues or win Texas' approval. Clear-backpack regulations have been implemented in a number of Texas school districts, which has resulted in privacy concerns and taunting. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, discontinued its clear-bag policy following a terrible shooting there in 2018.

This new backpack rule might deter students from bringing in illicit materials, but it won't address the issues raised by the Uvalde tragedy. The Uvalde shooter wasn't a student, to start. Second, students at Robb Elementary are exempt from the DISD backpack requirement.

Additionally, a new report from the Texas House of Representatives found that “systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making” by both law enforcement and school officials are to blame for the shooting in Uvalde. Neither of those problems — “systemic failures” and “egregiously poor decision making” — will be fixed by the security theater of clear backpacks.

This is what DISD acknowledges, saying that  “backpacks alone will not eliminate safety concerns” are not enough.

The district claims backpacks are “merely one of several steps in the district’s comprehensive plan to better ensure student and staff safety,” but unless that comprehensive plan includes hardening schools, DISD’s efforts to protect students and teachers are futile.

''Most planned mass shootings target gun-free zones where there is no one to stop them until the police arrive.” said Federalist Senior Editor David Harsanyi in a column earlier this week.

“It is impossible, unless one is a mind-reader, to quantify how often the presence of good guys with guns dissuades murders. It is likely that shooters, suicidal or not, prefer soft targets that allow them to make the most gruesome impact, which is one reason I simply can’t understand why we wouldn’t want to train (willing) teachers to use firearms,”, Harsanyi said.

What could be more defenseless than a classroom full of teachers and students? even more so if cops wait an hour.

Arms and strict security dissuade bad guys. It keeps taking place. Gun control activists oppose teachers carrying weapons in the classroom. Democrats have opposed legislation that would have funded and formalized security upgrades in public schools to safeguard students.

School hardening is criticized by the media as well. The Texas Tribune reported in May that the school security measures "didn't save Uvalde." Problem? Police mistakes show that Uvalde was not a hardened town or school.

The doors of a safe school would be locked. There would be just one secure entry. Threats cannot be handled in a school without armed teachers or a trained armed security guard.

The majority of districts, like DISD, prohibit and frequently limit school personnel from carrying guns on school property for self-defense, despite Texas taking steps to encourage schools to strengthen security. Adjust that.

Uvalde demonstrated for us that schools cannot wait for the authorities to disarm a lethal threat. School districts like DISD must stop concentrating on security showpieces like transparent backpacks and start spending money on safety for the worst-case scenario.

The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on TheFederalist.

Written by Staff Reports

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