Maryland District Will No Longer Allow Students to Carry Backpacks

Maryland District Will No Longer Allow Students to Carry Backpacks

Under a new policy, students at Charles County Public Schools will have to keep their backpacks in their locker during the school day.

Under a new policy, students at Charles County Public Schools are no longer allowed to carry their backpacks from class to class or to lunch. The backpack policy change follows three recent arrests of La Plata high school students for separate incidents.

Recently, a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old were each charged with bringing loaded guns to school, and a 17-year-old is accused of posting a school shooting rumor on social media. The rumor that a shooting would take place last Friday was false, but caused a lot of fear.

“We had 550 kids that missed school on Friday, because someone decided it would be funny to post something on Snapchat,” said Jason Stoddard, the district director of safety and security.

The new backpack policy was borne of these incidents. Beginning April 24, middle and high school students will have to keep their backpacks in their lockers during the entire school day instead of carrying them from class to class.

The rule is already in place at some middle and high school campuses.

At a Tuesday night meeting for parents, Stoddard said the district considered allowing students to carry clear backpacks from class to class but decided that policy wouldn’t work.

“Because as soon as you put a piece a paper or a book or something like that [inside], the idea that they’re transparent goes away,” he said.

According to a letter to parents from Superintendent Kimberly Hill, “The new rule allows students to carry a small personal bag, with or without a handle or strap and no larger than the size of a hand.”

“We work every day to improve the safety and security of our schools and centers,” Hill said. “We have adopted a number of new rules, created an anonymous safety reporting tool on the CCPS website, added more emergency training for staff and increased background checks and training for substitutes, volunteers and temporary and new employees.”

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.


  • Making Safety and Security Intrinsic to School Design

    Public anxieties about school safety are escalating across the country. According to a 2023 Gallup report, 44% of parents fear for their child’s physical safety at school, a 10 percentage-point increase since 2019. Unfortunately, these fears are likely to increase if the incidence of school tragedies continues to mount. As a result, school leaders are now charged with two non-negotiable responsibilities. The first, as always, is to ensure kids have what they need to learn, grow, and thrive. Sadly, their second responsibility is to keep the children in their care safe from threats and physical danger. Read Now

  • Unlocking Peace of Mind

    In a perfect world, every school would have an unlimited budget to help secure their schools. In reality, schools must prioritize what budget they have while navigating the complexities surrounding school security and lockdown Read Now

  • Emerging Campus Access Control Solutions

    Emerging solutions in campus access control can mean different things. Usually, we expect the topic to focus on the very latest in door security products and solutions that have just been recently released or are about to be launched. After all, staying up on improvements to keep campuses safer is critical. Plus, it’s always interesting and exciting to learn what’s new and how innovations are going to better protect lives and assets and help the industry be even more successful. Read Now

  • Here’s How Instructional Audio Can Play a Key Role in School Safety

    Ensuring the safety of students and employees is critical in today’s educational environment. While the threat of a school shooting is in the back of everyone’s mind, the truth is there are many possible scenarios that could crop up at any time in classrooms, hallways, and other school spaces—from fights or altercations to a sick child or staff member who requires emergency attention. Read Now