Idaho high school adopts no-backpack policy


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CALDWELL — Caldwell High School will institute a no-backpack policy, starting Wednesday.

Students will be assigned lockers at no charge, and will be allowed to carry bags only the size of an 8 ½- by 11-inch piece of paper. reports students will have to check in athletic bags with gym teachers in the morning, or store them in their cars.

“We understand this will be a transition as students and staff get used to a new procedure,” Caldwell High School said in a Monday Facebook post announcing the change.

The move comes after local police have investigated threats at four area schools. Caldwell High School canceled classes on Wednesday after a campus threat, the Idaho Press-Tribune reported.

“I’m supporting the high school and this effort,” Caldwell Superintendent Shalene French told the Press-Tribune. “I think that they’re working to keep students safe.”

The change sparked a heated debate on the school’s Facebook page. Some students and parents said the change would not make the school safer. Other commenters commended the school for responding quickly, in the wake of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school.

One commenter — identified as Melissa Ann — described herself as a Caldwell graduate now living in Parkland.

“I honestly CANNOT believe people are arguing this!” she wrote. “If you would like to come and visit our 17 families and community of heartbroken citizens, we would welcome you, and then you may think differently about a no-backpack rule.”