Why Clear Backpacks?
More and more school districts are requiring their students to carry see-through bookbags and clearbackpacks. They are following the lead of retailers (Dillards, Foley's, Mervyn's, Walgreens, etc.), hospitals, sports venues, Nascar, high-tech companies, prisons, bus companies, nursing homes and others that require their employees to have clear backpacks.
Our company is not the inventors of the clear backpack. When we came on the scene there were seven companies that sold clear backpacks to schools. Five of those companies have since gone out of business because their bags were cheap and couldn't stand up to 35 lbs. of books. The sixth company has much more money!
We are not here to sell clear bags. If we were, we would have found the cheapest ones we could find, and would have figured how to sell them at a high price and disappear before the bags broke apart.
We are here to change the landscape, and we are in this niche market for the long term. We offer ultra-durable bags at ultra-low prices, because we care more about finding a real solution. If you've read as many articles about school shootings as our partners have, then you know exactly how we feel, and why we're doing this for the long haul.
We've spent a great deal of time creating the best clear backpacks ever manufactured. Nobody wants to carry a cheap, ugly clear bag around school, and so we have more than 20 styles. And unlike the discount-store clear backpacks that have a average lifespan of six weeks, our first (and only) return for our best-selling Saturn backpack came 14 months after we sold it. Is it possible to find a clear backpack that holds up as well as a Land's End bag? Try ours, and Experience the Difference!
Clear Backpacks and School Safety
Clear backpacks are not only a fashion statement, they also promote school safety! Even though the first schools to require clear backpacks did so in 1998, a number of these schools are already showing positive results. School districts that have mandated clear backpacks, in our preliminary research, report a 50% drop in expulsions due to weapons and drugs. These numbers are further enhanced when schools concurrently adopt a Standardized Dress policy. Notes from a long-term study of school uniforms in Long Beach, CA are available at www.lbusd.k12.ca.us/uniform/uniform.htm .
In addition to decreasing the number of 'dangerous' articles, schools studied also reported a drop (as much as 80%) in the number of 'distracting' items brought to school, such as GameBoys, pagers, Walkmans and Pokemon Cards. Two factors cause clear backpacks to be effective. First, they allow students and teachers to see what other students are carrying, which increases the reporting rates for contraband. Secondly, it deters would-be carriers from making the attempt, since they know there is no place to easily hide their contraband. Since 50% of weapons brought onto school campuses are carried for 'show-and-tell' purposes, the prospect of being found out makes would-be student perpetrators think twice!
See-Through backpacks are currently required in various schools in 35 states. As a company we have received inquiries from all 50 states and have shipped bags to more than 40 states? so far!
Read more about safety issues in Eight Things Parents and Schools Can Do Right Now To Enhance School Security.
Eight Things Parents and Schools Can Do Right Now To Enhance School Security
1. Address your school's physical security and access situation. This pertains to your doors, locks, windows and entryways. Good security starts with physical security-- and even a school with metal detectors is compromised when windows are left open, unlatched or broken. Surveillance cameras or no, each entryway needs to be consistently watched during school access hours.
2. Increase the visibility of both teachers and police during school hours. It is refreshing to see that many schools have their teachers stand in the halls during class changes to monitor student activity, because this cuts down on much of the harassing behavior that takes place outside of class.
3. Random police checks have been shown as a significant deterrent to student contraband. This can take place with metal detectors at football games, in-school locker searches, and with special police units that pick schools at random to visit and search.
4. Support standardized dress and see-thru backpacks. Nobody ever said that freedom of clothing expression or backpacks were inalienable rights on school property, and a number of schools have eliminated backpacks altogether. Elimination of baggy clothes and jackets reduces the availability of hiding places for weapons, and standardized dress reduces the number of fights over who's got the coolest outfit. Preliminary data suggest that these two factors by themselves will reduce the number of weapons and drugs in school by 50 percent. There are more than 25 styles of clear and mesh backpacks, which means that fashionable expression is readily available for the safety-conscious.
5. Learn the procedures, and know the drill. A "shooter" or "lockdown" drill is different from a fire or tornado drill, and procedures should be regularly practiced so that they become automatic in the event of an emergency. A school security expert can help you develop the proper procedures for your own school.
6. Foster a school environment of teamwork, achievement, discipline, inclusiveness and caring. Leave nobody out.
7. A weapons hotline is one of the keys for tracking weapons that have already come onto campus. A good hotline provides anonymous and free access, and some provide cash rewards for contraband seized. In any case, it helps students know that they share in the responsibility for maintaining a safe school environment.
8. Finally, know your own children. Spend time alone with them, and with their friends. Talk to them about your daily concerns, and encourage them to talk to about their own. Show them how to resolve conflict in a mature way. Interact, share, be accessible, and set a good example through your own behavior.