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Lee school district adopts no-bags policy

September 5, 2018
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

To further protect students, staff and spectators, the Lee County School District implemented a new policy this week that prohibits bringing bookbags, backpacks, duffel bags, or large purses into large-capacity facilities.

Chief Human Resource Officer Dr. Angela Pruitt said the district implemented the new practice to keep facilities safe and secure.

"When you look around the state, this is kind of a practice that a lot of districts are putting in place," she said. "We talked about it at the executive level and talked to principals and thought it was important to put into place."

The practice, put into effect immediately, is for high school stadiums, gymnasiums and theaters. Items that are prohibited include bookbags, backpacks, duffel bags, or large purses; any item that could be used as a missile; cans/bottles; coolers; fireworks and horns and lasers.

The district stated that "any type of weapon on school property is always prohibited under board policy." Anyone attending events may be subject to a search.

"We always have security and school resource officers at our football games. That will still be in place," Pruitt said.

There was a football game scheduled for Thursday night and five scheduled for tonight. Those games will help determine whether what they have is adequate, or if any challenges arise.

"We are going to meet with law enforcement next Tuesday and review the policy, practice and have discussions around to keep it (just) for high schools, or consider middle schools as well. They also have sporting events," Pruitt said.

Student safety is paramount and the district wants to make sure they are doing everything that is reasonable to protect the students, she said.



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