FLINT COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
923 E. Kearsley Street □ Flint, Michigan 48503 □ Email: [email protected]
April 27, 2023
Dear Flint Families,
At Flint Community Schools, we are doing all that we can to create a safe and secure environment for our scholars, families, teachers and staff. School safety remains an important topic for districts across the country, including here in Flint. As a district, we are taking a 360-degree approach to create safe spaces for children’s academic journeys. To that end, we have reached a point where we must make difficult decisions and ask our school community to demonstrate flexibility, understanding and a shared sense of urgency when it comes to safety.
Here's what you need to know: Effective Monday, May 1, scholars districtwide will not be allowed to bring backpacks into Flint Community Schools buildings. This policy will be in place through the remainder of the school year. Small purses with personal items (i.e., hygiene products, wallets, keys, phone, etc.), clear plastic bags with gym clothes, and lunchboxes will be allowed within reason. These bags will still be subject to search. If a scholar brings a backpack to school, they will be sent to the office where they will need to call a parent or guardian to pick up their belongings. The office will not hold this property.
Across the country, we have seen an increase in threatening behavior and contraband, including weapons, being brought into schools at all levels. Backpacks make it easier for students to hide weapons, which can be disassembled and harder to identify or hidden in pockets, inside books or under other items. Clear backpacks do not completely fix this issue. By banning backpacks altogether and adding an increased security presence across the district, we can better control what is being brought into our buildings.
This is a difficult decision, but it is one that will immediately benefit our district and the safety of those we serve. This has been approved by the Flint Board of Education, the district’s administration and principals, with support from the Flint Police Department and other safety advocates. We have thought long and hard about this decision, knowing that it will impact how scholars and families prepare for their days and operations in the classroom. However, based on the issues we continue to see across the country regarding school safety, we believe that this is the best solution for those we serve.
We take threats against our school community and weapons brought onto school property very seriously, and parents and scholars should understand there are legal ramifications to both of these actions. We encourage all family members to continue an open dialogue with our scholars about their safety concerns and well-being. It takes a community approach and we ask that you help us inform our scholars about reporting threats responsibly and appropriately, and, when action is required, to contact school officials directly or through the State of Michigan’s OK2SAY tip line at 8-555-OK2SAY or OK [email protected] if they hear of any potentially dangerous situations.
We apologize for any inconvenience that this policy will have on our scholars and families, but when it comes to the safety of our school community, we will not take any chances. An FAQ document has been developed and is available on the district’s website at flintschools.org. If there are additional questions regarding school safety, including our new safety protocols, please do not hesitate to reach out at [email protected].
Kevelin Jones, Superintendent