Sports fans are no longer allowed to bring opaque bags of any kind to games hosted by Hickory Public Schools. The new policy also applies to other events, such as B. Promotions.
The district passed a clear-bag policy that went into effect Tuesday. The policy allows attendees to bring one clear bag of any size to an event. The policy states that all bags are subject to inspection.
Participants may only take one bag to an event. Cameras, binoculars, smartphones and tablets are still allowed as long as they are not in a separate bag. Seat cushions and folding chairs are also allowed but are searchable and must not be in a bag. Blankets are allowed but can be searched.
Medically necessary items are an exception. If a participant attempts to bring a bag that is not visible, they will be asked to bring the bag back to their car. The policy states law enforcement officers will be on site at events to assist if prohibited items are found during bag searches.
Hickory High School is hosting a game of football scrimmage on Friday. That policy applies, according to Beverly Snowden, communications director for Hickory Public Schools.
Superintendent Bryan Taylor presented the new policy to the district school board Monday as one of several safety updates.
Taylor spoke of new safety measures being taken by schools in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas shooting and recent gun violence in the Hickory area.
Hickory Public Schools is partnering with Newton-Conover City Schools and Catawba County Schools to purchase body scanners for middle and high schools. Taylor said a demonstration will be held at a high school in the Catawba County Schools District in September.
“[The scanners are]basically the next step above a metal detector,” Taylor said. “It’s something similar to what you go through when you go through at the airport (transport security agency check). You don’t even have to take off a book bag.”
The district has put together a handout explaining safety precautions at the new and existing schools. The handout included ways parents can help keep schools safe. Taylor said inspiration for the lists came from questions asked by viewers at a security summit hosted by the Corinth Reformed Church on July 27.
The district has increased police presence on all campuses and has begun conducting more frequent perimeter checks, according to the handout.
According to the handout, additional surveillance cameras have been installed at all Hickory Public Schools.
The district began a partnership with the Juvenile Courts Department to set up offices for juvenile court counselors in middle and high schools, Taylor said.
Other safety precautions already in place include metal detectors at major events, staff training sessions with the Hickory Police Department and visitors being hummed through the main entrance into a school and then checked in through an Ident-A-Kid kiosk, according to the handout.
Ident-A-Kid is a program that searches the visitor’s name for criminal charges related to juveniles, custody issues, and custom lists of banned people, according to the company’s website.