DORCHESTER COUNTY, Md. – Students across Dorchester County now walking around in see-through style.
As they gear up for the first day of school next Tuesday, they have a clear backpack waiting for them. “We found last year we had some young people bring some things they’re not supposed to to school. Certainly, it wasn’t guns or anything like that but there were some things that were left out in houses that I think that little hands think they’re really cool to have,” said Superintendent David Bromwell with Dorchester County Public Schools.
In case those cool items slip past parents, with the clear book bag school staff will be able to catch it. “We want to keep everybody safe and we feel it’s a mitigation strategy that we can use to assist our schools and make sure they’re safe,” said Bromwell. “Aid in security, we can’t continue having it be a fashion show for whose got the fanciest backpacks. If they want their children safe they have to give up a little something,” said Dorchester County Sheriff James Phillips Jr.
Dorchester County Sheriff James Phillips Junior says that safety policies have been frequently updated since the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999, ensuring school safety. “The money that has been spent on school safety in this county is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to fortify the buildings, to restrict access to the buildings, to be able to secure classrooms to put them under surveillance with cameras. It’s a continuous process,” Sheriff Phillips Jr. said.
Dorchester County Public Schools Superintendent, Dave Bromwell says parents play a role in this too by staying engaged. “Every parent, I want them engaged in their student’s education. And every day when a student comes home with their book bag, we certainly want them to look in their book bag and see what messages teachers have left,” Bromwell said.
Due to COVID-19, all of the school’s water fountains have been turned off, so the bookbags also came with a water bottle.
Sheriff Phillips says they will continue to meet with the school board to ensure updates to school safety.