AUSTIN, Texas — A new policy left some Del Valle parents and students scrambling Monday, as students are now only allowed to carry clear or mesh backpacks onto campus.
The new policy comes after a high school student allegedly brought a BB gun to school last week. District officials say the policy is a safety response, giving police and administration more visibility into what students are bringing in their bags.
Del Valle ISD reported that around 600 clear backpacks were handed out on Monday morning, and 2,500 more are on the way and will be distributed on Tuesday.
Photos shared to KVUE showed students arriving to campus in long lines, as students were not to be let into the building unless they had the proper backpack.
"By the end of today will have distributed at about 600 clear backpacks, and there are an additional 2500 being delivered tomorrow," said Christopher Weddle with DVISD. "So by the end of the day tomorrow, every student at Del Valle High School will be able to have a district provided clear bag to use."
The district reported that no students were turned away on Monday morning. Students who did not bring a proper backpack were asked to swap them for a clear bag and were told they could pick up their non-compliant backpacks at the end of the day.
"We know that today took a little bit longer to get in the building, but we did make sure that all of those students still had an opportunity to get their breakfast and then be on to class as soon as possible," said Weddle. "We just wanted to make sure that they all were able to get in and get up to their class as quickly as possible with understanding that there was a change in the process this morning."
DVISD said extra police officers were on campus this week. However, some parents said they kept their kids home from school.
"We are asking for our parents to be in partnership with us to make sure kids are coming to school with what is appropriate to be brought to school," said Weddle. "We also want to make sure that parents and students understand that if they see or hear anything that should not be happening or being brought onto campus, to immediately let an administrator, an officer, another trusted adult know so that we can quickly react to that."
Valerie Hernadez has a sophomore at the high school. As a parent, she said she thinks the school needs to do more to ensure the safety of students.
"They did the clear backpacks today," said Hernandez. "I think it's a quick fix. That's my personal opinion. I think you can't just put tape over a leak when you don't have plumbing. You can't just do quick fixes. We need real help."
Hernandez said she thinks parents and district officials should work together. Meanwhile, the district will be holding town hall meetings for parents over the next two weeks.
An update provided by the district can be read below:
Dear DVHS families,
Please review the following updates from Del Valle High School.
Non-credible social media threat update
A continuing investigation by the DVISD Police Department, the Travis County Sheriff's Office, and the FBI have identified the photo in the threat as originating in Georgia. Partner police agencies report that the image has also been recently used as a prank in Austin, Bastrop, and Round Rock school districts.
Parents, we need your help. Please partner with us during this time and remind your child that Del Valle ISD does not and will not tolerate continued threats against our school. Any student found with a weapon or making a threat at the school or on social media, even as a joke, will receive the strongest punishment permitted in the Student Code of Conduct and the law. Please continue to share with your children that sharing and posting threats on social media will have significant consequences and possible criminal charges.
Clear backpack procedures
Last week and over the weekend, the district notified families and students that clear backpacks were required starting Monday, October 25. Over 600 clear backpacks were distributed to 9th and 10th grade students today. An additional 2500 backpacks will be delivered and distributed tomorrow to all students. Any student who needs a clear backpack will receive one from the school.
We ask that students do not bring backpacks to school tomorrow, as they will receive a clear one at school.
With this new clear bag procedure, please partner with us to ensure your child does not bring any prohibited items to school each day.
Parent Town Hall Meetings
Parents are invited to attend Town Hall meetings in the High School Auditorium on the following dates.
- 9th grade parents: Oct. 27, 6 p.m.
- 10th grade parents: Oct. 28, 6 p.m.
- 11th grade parents: Nov. 1, 6 p.m.
- 12th grade parents: Nov. 2, 6 p.m.
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