According to officials, the rule will create a safer environment for students. For those concerned with additional costs associated with purchasing these backpacks, the Dallas ISD said they would distribute free, clear bags before the school year begins.
The district also acknowledged criticism that backpacks alone do not make a difference.
“We acknowledge that clear or mesh backpacks alone will not eliminate safety concerns. This is merely one of several steps in the district’s comprehensive plan to better ensure student and staff safety,” officials wrote on the website.
The decision follows feedback the district collected from community members regarding what policies are recommended to enhance the safety of children in schools. The clear backpack idea is not new and follows shootings in other states. In both Florida and Michigan, students were required to have clear backpacks after school shootings.
According to The Dallas Morning Star, in both incidents students questioned why their privacy was being violated as opposed to stricter laws on guns.
"Our decision stems from safety recommendations made by the district's Safety Task Force and Internal Task Force as well as feedback from students, parents, and the community. We acknowledge that clear or mesh backpacks alone will not eliminate safety concerns. This is merely one of several steps in the district's comprehensive plan to better ensure student and staff safety," Dallas ISD said in a statement on its website.
The announcement also comes several weeks after the school shooting incident at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Several Texas schools have vowed to take similar steps following the tragic incident. In a Facebook post on June 14, the Ingleside Independent School District wrote:
"Safety is a top priority for Ingleside ISD and is on the forefront of concern for school districts across Texas and our Nation. In efforts to implement additional preventative measures to ensure school safety, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved a Dress Code Policy Update which will require clear backpacks for all students during the 2022-2023 school year."
Other officials and schools have even suggested bulletproof shelters and spaces as opposed to discussing the root problem of gun violence and the lack of accountable legislation.