SACKETS HARBOR The Sackets Harbor Central School District will experiment with banning all bags from classrooms and hallways.
After two arrests, one for a marijuana sale and the other for a gun threat, the school began cracking down by making students stow away purses and backpacks in their lockers during the school day.
The weight of overfilled backpacks can potentially harm young students bodies, Superintendent Frederick E. Hall Jr. wrote in a letter. Law enforcement has also indicated that these items allow students to carry items that are prohibited by our Student Code of Conduct.
The arrests were made March 2 after an incident the previous day. A friend of the 16-year-old who sold marijuana to a 15-year-old threatened to get a gun and shoot students, according to village police. All three boys have been suspended.
According to the letter, the new backpack procedure will begin April 10. Although students have been told during homeroom what to expect, parents were not notified of the change before it was leaked to the media.
Mr. Hall said several other schools Watertown City School District, South Jefferson Central School District and Belleville Henderson Central School District have implemented similar procedures without any major difficulties.
Watertown Superintendent Terry N. Fralick and South Jefferson Superintendent Jamie A. Moesel were not available to comment.
During the Sackets Harbor Board of Education meeting Tuesday, the board did not discuss the changes that will be implemented. Mr. Hall said because it was a procedural change and not a policy change, there was no requirement for the board to approve it.
We thought we would try it out until the end of this year, he said.
He plans to bring the issue to the board after faculty and students have a better understanding of what will be expected of them.
He said there were no other procedures being implemented to improve student safety. There also is no guarantee the procedure will become policy after the year is over.
The letter can be found at the bottom of the superintendents page at www.sacketspatriots.org.