By John Clayton
Laurens, South Carolina – A new policy requiring clear bags for athletic and other events at some Laurens District 55 schools went into place this week with the opening of the school year.
In a release, District 55 officials said the move to require the clear bags is over safety concerns.
“The new procedure is similar to those already in place at university stadiums, local arenas and school districts statewide,” the release read. “LCSD 55 is adopting the process to enhance security and further assure the safety of students and spectators who will attend events at the high school and middle schools. Each ticketed individual will be permitted to carry one clear tote bag, not to exceed 12” x 6” x 12” and a small clutch or wallet can be included in this clear tote if it does not exceed 4.5” x 6.5”. Other small permissible items such as keys, wallets, cell phones, credit cards and cash may be carried in a pocket or by hand.”
Clear bags will be required for all athletic and performing arts events at Laurens District High School and at all athletic events at the district’s four middle schools – Gray Court-Owings, Hickory Tavern, Laurens and Sanders.
All spectators and visitors will be required to use the clear plastic bags unless otherwise authorized by district officials.
Prohibited items include weapons, drugs, alcohol, tobacco and electronic cigarettes. Outside food and drinks, laser pointers and non-service animals are also prohibited at all events.
“District security personnel understand the necessity for some individuals to utilize a non-clear bag for medically necessary items or equipment,” the district release read. “If an individual cannot use a clear bag for this reason, they will be required to speak with administration and officers on staff, and their bags will be subject to search.”
Any guest entering a venue with a nonconforming or prohibited bag will be asked to return the items to their vehicles.
Clear bags may be purchased from the Laurens District High School Athletic Booster Club for $15. Michelle Gibbs, president of the Athletic Booster Club, can address concerns and questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the club’s Facebook page, @L55AthleticBoosterClub.