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District 55 adopts Clear Backpack policy

District 55 has finalized its decision to enhance student safety by requiring clear backpacks starting with this upcoming school year, and it announced the decision in a Wednesday, July 7 press release.

“With efforts to continue enhancing safety measures in Laurens County School District 55, the district will require all students to use clear backpacks starting with the 2022-2023 school year.

“We feel that this is another way to help provide a safe teaching and learning environment in District 55,” said superintendent Dr. Ameca Thomas.

However, students are permitted to have non-transparent lunch bags, pencil pouches, and purses that do not exceed a size of 6” X 9”.

Students participating in an extracurricular activity are permitted to carry non-transparent bags to store items pertaining to their particular activity (i.e. band, athletics, etc.).  These bags are all subject to being searched by law enforcement and school officials.  Upon entry into the school, all extracurricular activity bags must be stored in lockers or designated areas established by the school.

In addition to the implementation of clear backpacks, Laurens County School District 55 will conduct random searches of campuses, metal detectors will be in place at Laurens District 55 High School, a gun safety curriculum will be provided, and drug and article dogs will be in schools on a regular basis. “As we implement new safety measures, we know that it may require all of us to make some adjustments,” said Thomas.  “I am asking that all parents, guardians, students, and staff work together to make District 55 an example of a school district untouched by violence.  Let’s make the news reports for the excellent things we have to offer, not negativity.”

Additional information is available on the school district website at and the school district social media sites.  Questions may be directed to Dr. Jody Penland at 864-984-3568.

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