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Parents raise concerns over Jefferson backpack ban

RIGBY, Idaho (KIFI) - The Jefferson Joint School District 251 has banned all backpacks in both middle and high school. This comes a day after a 13-year-old girl brought a gun to Rigby Middle School.

However, some parents like Caitlyn Lewis, whose 6th-grade daughter attends RMS, disagree with the decision.

"I don't think banning backpacks is going to solve anything," Lewis said. "If anything, it's going to make kids more sneaky, to get what they want and their point across to people. And that scares me more, that we're now making our kids be sneakier, cause we're banning our backpacks that they can carry their athletic gear or school supplies in. That they think it's going to solve an issue, I think it's just causing things to be way worse and kids to be more sneaky."

Lewis also said the rules aren't clear of what's allowed and what isn't.

"They're allowed to bring purses and fanny packs," Lewis said. "And I found that counteractive because you can't bring a backpack, but you can bring a purse or a fanny pack, that you can still carry a gun in? Like they make concealed carry purses for women."

Also saying there are underlying issues.

"And we're not doing anything about why the child brought the gun to school," Lewis said. "Was there bullying? Were there mental health issues? Are we gonna fix that issue, or are we just kind of going to put a band-aid on and blame it on the backpack now?"

We did reach out to the school district for clarification, and to discuss the policy, and were told superintendent Chad Martin spent the day talking with the middle and high schools about the policy.

However, he never got back to us for comment.

The only statement they've released on the matter comes from the email the district sent to parents Thursday, asking parents to "partner with us in keeping all of our students safe."

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Rachel Fabbi

Rachel Fabbi is a reporter, anchor and producer for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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