‘Clear-bag policy’ will soon take effect at Jeff Davis sporting events; more safety measures coming to schools

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 10:00 PM CST
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JENNINGS, La. (KPLC) - Sending your child to school in today’s world can be scary for parents, but Southwest Louisiana schools are reassuring everyone, they’re focusing on increasing safety.

Jeff Davis Parish is one of the many school districts bringing in new technology and policies as soon next semester.

Jeff Davis Parish schools, like Calcasieu Parish, applied for the Louisiana Department of Education’s Stronger Connections Program, allowing them to build fences and purchase weapon detectors for schools and athletic events.

“It adds a layer that makes it a little bit tougher, and that’s what we want. We don’t want our schools to be soft, we want barriers in place,” Supt. John Hall said.

Hall said bonds will go up for election in the spring that will also help fund single points of entry at several of the parish’s schools. If passed, these projects are set to begin next summer.

“Other projects that we have upcoming are going to be Lake Arthur High School, Lake Arthur Elementary, Welsh High School and Welsh Elementary, and Welsh-Roanoke Junior High. All of those schools. We are in the planning stages of creating a single point of entry, safe vestibule to hold people with weapons detectors,” he said.

The school board recently voted to create a clear bag policy for sporting events that begins next semester.

“On Jan. 1, it will come into effect. We are asking spectators come with a clear bag to any athletic events. Making it a little extra, for safety for anyone anybody who is coming for our people, but for those who are coming out of town also,” school board supervisor Frances LeBlanc said.

Bags or purses must be under 12 inches by 12 inches, which is about the size of a gallon Ziplock bag. Small clutches that are about the size of a hand do not need to be clear.