Clear bag policy causes confusion for some students

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As part of their safety policies, some Chicago public schools now require students to use only clear bags to carry their books and supplies to class.

At Curie High School, 4959 South Archer Avenue, the policy has been in place for more than a week.

But students say they were caught off guard today they were told they would not be allowed to bring their old style multi-colored backpacks into the building because they would be violating school rules.

A message posted on the school website says students who show up at the school without clear backpacks will not be allowed in the building.  They can leave those backpacks with security and pick them up at the end of the day.

But some students who spoke with WGN said using clear backpacks puts them at risk for having money, phones and other personal items stolen because it is easier to see those item in clear bags.

One student said he bought his clear backpack for $25.  Others say they will have to do the same because they have no choice.

CPS tells WGN that no students were turned away from Curie High School.  They were given the option to leave their old style book bags with security and pick them up at the end of the day.  Some students chose not to do so.

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  • tavi555

    The students were told to either give their book bags to security and get a plastic bag for the remainder of the day or to go home. Those students that went outside stayed on campus grounds and security came out and told them to go home instead of telling them to go indoors. This is from first hand experience. Yes, the policy was in place before school started but it was never enforced seriously or rarely brought up so many people just ignored it. This is also true for all of the previous years. Not only that but the lost and found at this school is very unreliable. Many students, myself included, just don't trust the security staff as much if at all anymore. I don't understand why all of these changes occurred so quickly. I'm also going to bring up that the book bags have not deterred people from bringing in illegal paraphernalia and such. I think, if anything, it has taught them how to hide it more efficiently.

  • Nicole

    I graduated from Curie in 2008. All 4 years we were only allowed to have a clear book bag. Back then, Curie supplied us with a clear book bag through our student fees.

  • Anonymous

    As a personal student in Curie, I am outraged. I, myself, did bring in my normal all cloth book bag today, unaware that such decisions were going to be made. I was caught by surprise. I don't wear the book bag to rebel; I do so because I happen to carry MANY books AND personal belongings. In the past three years, I have gone through many clear books bags because they were too cheap to carry all my belongings. With my cloth bag, I can carry everything and not worry about when or where it will rip. Needless to say, I found myself missing my entire first period class because they were too reluctant to even allow us to get to class on time. I believe their focus as a school should be our education, not clear bags. Also, to say that the information was posted on the website is ridiculous. As a student, I can assure all that we do not check that sight constantly or at all. Something this big should have been said on the intercom. Money does not grow on trees, so such actions should have only been taken if Curie actually supplied the bags, but that's not the case we are supposed to buy our own. The school has lost a lot of support. Considering how rude some staff were toward people who happened to not have a clear book bag was plain prejudice.

  • Anonymous

    I just want to say that CPS did in fact tell people to go home. They did not give students much of an option. They were EXTREMELY rude about everything. I almost was late to my first period, mind you I HAVE a CLEAR bag! It is so ridiculous. Curie Staff members even refuse to talk to parents about the issue. Clear book bags, in fact, make it easier for students to steal and invade someone's personal privacy. If the school wants to buy everybody a $600 smart phone then sure! Let's all have clear book bags, but until then, the school should really respect students' personal privacy. There is so much drama over a book bag. There are more important issues in the world. Why work extremely hard to enforce a book bag rule rather than help people in need. People care so much about very little problems when they don't care at all about the world's real issues. Is this what humanity has come to?

  • Amber

    I would like to say that Curie actually told students on the intercom Friday, August 30, 2013, that it would be fine if students did not have clear book bags. Money does not grow on trees, so it may take a little while for students to purchase a clear bag considering the fact they have to pay multiple fees. The school should not have changed the information they gave the ENTIRE school.

  • Chicagoan

    Curie students must be getting a fantastic education because these responses are well constructed. I do mean this. All of these responses prove that your teachers have taught you how to stand your ground on important issues and to use your vast vocabulary to explain your side.

  • maribel2003

    The clear book bag rule has been in place for more then a decade. I'm surprise parents and students did not know about it or maybe they chose to ignore it. The information is posted on the website. if you don't want your $600.00 phone stolen then don't take it to school, furthermore if you can afford such a phone then you can afford a $25.00 bag. Mr. Robert H Jordan should be focusing more on teachers using their new wages for buying these ungrateful students school supplies since our mayor chooses to spend money on renovating Wrigley field rather than our students and our schools

  • Alondra

    This is so stupid! Why were the news even covering this?? I am a student at Curie and the students that did not bring clear bookbags KNEW that they were supposed to have clear bookbags, have they not taken them, it was their fault. Also, they were just preventing other students with their clear bags to get past the doors to get to class on time. >_>