KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When high school students in the Center School District return to the classroom on Aug. 24, they’ll be required to only use clear backpacks.
Students attending Center High School, Center Academy for Success and Center Middle School will also be required to pass through a metal detector.
The security enhancements were made public in a communication Tuesday to Center School District families.
Superintendent Dr. Yolanda Cargile said in the letter to parents that the changes were made in part due to mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, Buffalo, New York and Highland Park, Illinois.
Cargile also cited “several incidents” in the spring semester of last school year as a reason for the security enhancements.
“Starting this school year, metal detectors will be used as an added layer of security for our Center High School Family,” CHS Principal Mark Wiegers said Tuesday. “As an additional layer, we will only be allowing the use of clear backpacks in CHS.”
In her letter, the superintendent cited a survey of students, parents and staff. She said that 70 percent of each group supported using metal detectors.
In addition to metal detectors at secondary schools, metal detectors will also be required for those attending high school football and basketball games.
High school students will also be required to follow new policies for cell phone usage. According to Wiegers, at the beginning of each period, students will be required to put their cell phones into a “cell phone lock box.” Teachers would then unlock the box and return the phones at the end of the period.
“We realize that change can be difficult, however, we believe the changes outlined above will help to ensure that we have a safe and secure learning environment,” Wiegers wrote.