Parents react to bookbags being banned at Jordan High School in Columbus

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 8:34 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - We have new details about the bookbag ban at Jordan High School in Columbus. The decision comes days after a weapon was confiscated from a student on school grounds.

Our Ahniaelyah Spraggs spoke with parents who think this decision is excessive.

“It’s just unfortunate that we’re in times nowadays where, you know, students are bringing weapons of that nature to school,” said Darryl Carter, president of the Muscogee County Association of Educators. “But we do have to be proactive in making sure that all students are safe in Muscogee County, not only what’s going on around the world.”

On Monday, August 15, students are no longer allowed to bring bookbags to school grounds. The rule is part of a ban implemented by the school two days after classes began.

“The school has to do what it has to do to ensure that safety and ensuring that safety may mean not bringing book bags to school,” said Carter.

The school district says the ban will not be implemented across the entire district - instead each school can decide if they want to implement the ban.

“I totally agree with the district because all schools are not -- they don’t, um let me say, that school culture or that environment where that’s needed,” said Carter.

“One of the things I do, especially with the Carter Service LLC is I bring kids to the building and talk to them or create activities for them.”

There will be exceptions for those with medical needs - as long as the principal approves it. Athletes can also bring bags but they must be kept in the gym.

Janay Knowlton and her husband have kids that are in elementary, middle and high school - their oldest attending Jordan High School.

“I honestly feel like that’s excessive. Students have a lot of books, they have Chromebooks, they have pencil and pens that they are responsible for - so I mean I understand we gotta keep the kids safe. I guess if we’re going to be strict with the bookbags, let them get the clear or net bookbags,” said Knowlton.

With problems like this popping up across the Chattahoochee Valley, many parents like Knowlton have the same question.

“And why aren’t they feeling safe at school? That’s my initial question -- why do you feel you need to bring a weapon to school? We would want to know while it’s happening but I do understand because it’s so many students that they do have to take into accountability of not raising so many concerns. I wish it was better communication, but I do feel that for the communication they have in place right now, that’s probably the best that they can do.”

The school says anyone who comes with a bookbag Monday, August 15, and any day after that, will have to leave it in the front office and have a parent pick it up.

It’s unclear whether or not this is a permanent ban.

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