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Clear bag policy to be enforced at Orangeburg County elementary schools

According to Director of Student Services Hayward Jean, the aim to is have the policy be consistent among all K-12 schools in the Orangeburg County School District.

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — Starting next school year, the clear bag policy will be in place for all elementary schools in the Orangeburg County School District. The Orangeburg County School Board voted in favor of this policy 8 to 1.

The clear bag policy is already in place at all middle and high schools in the district. According to Director of Student Services Hayward Jean, the aim to is have the policy be consistent among all K-12 schools.

School board member William O'Quinn expressed concerns about the durability of the bags.

“The complaint that I’ve heard about that is that clear bags don’t last. They tear up very quickly, especially the ones I think the school provided a lot of them this past year," O'Quinn said. "Those kids have a lot of books to carry around and they’re having to patch them together, that sort of thing." 

According to superintendent Dr. Shawn Foster, the district provided clear bags to students this past school year, but next year it will be up to parents to provide the clear book bags for their children.

Board member Sylvia Bruce-Stephens said the best way to ensure this policy will keep students safe is to make sure someone is monitoring the metal detectors when students come into the building.

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“Are you gonna have somebody there that’s gonna be checking, that’s gonna be there to make sure when they come in? Because if you don’t have anybody there, they don’t have to go through that metal detector, they can go around," said Bruce-Stephens.

Board member Idella Carson suggested hiring more school resource officers to help monitor the doors.

“We need to get our resource officers or we need to find a way to pay extra resource officers to protect our precious commodity instead of putting all of this on our teachers," said Carson.

The clear bag policy will also apply to all athletic bags and bags used for personal hygiene items.

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