Southwest ISD to ban backpacks, large purses for the rest of the school year

Policy is in place to reduce the risk of dangerous items on campus, SWISD says

SAN ANTONIO – Southwest Independent School District has announced that starting Monday, backpacks and large purses will not be allowed on campuses.

The policy will remain in effect throughout the end of the school year for safety reasons, SWISD said in a letter to parents. The ban also includes sling bags and messenger bags.

Students can still take smaller bags to school, but they must meet the following requirements:

  • Small bags and/or clutches — 5.5″ x 8.5″ or smaller
  • Clear bags — 12″ x 6″ x 12″
  • 1-gallon clear freezer bag — 12″ x 12″ or smaller

Students involved in extracurricular activities who need their backpacks must put them away at designated times, SWISD said.

“At Southwest ISD, our top priority is the safety and security of our students and staff. We believe that safety is a shared responsibility, and we request your cooperation in maintaining a safe environment for everyone,” the letter says.

The letter adds that the policy is “necessary to reduce the risk of dangerous items being brought onto campus.”

Students who bring weapons of any kind, or items that look like weapons, may be subject to disciplinary actions or criminal charges, SWISD said. That includes knives, BB guns or toy guns.

If a student sees suspicious behavior, they can submit an anonymous tip here. For more information on the no-backpack policy, click here.

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Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.