San Benito school district mulls clear bag policy

SAN BENITO — In response to mass shootings, school districts across the country — including Harlingen — have turned to clear bag policies for sporting events.

Now, the San Benito school district is considering joining their ranks. That means changes could be in store for fans at Greyhound sporting events.

At a meeting this past week, the San Benito CISD Board of Trustees discussed enacting a clear bag policy for the 2020-2021 school year.

However, board members expressed interest in enforcing the policy as early as next semester.

Board Secretary Janie G. Silva said she believes the district needs to make the change immediately.

“I feel like we have to do this right away before it’s too late. You never know,” Silva said during the meeting. “We see what’s happening all over the United States and elsewhere. It’s a very serious thing.”

Board President Michael A. Vargas suggested an alternate timeline for the proposed clear bag policy.

“I think the only impediment I see with starting very quickly is going to be from the community in terms of short notice, finances and affordability,” he said during the meeting. “Maybe a compromise could be that we start second semester with all varsity sports.”

Orlando Lopez, Board Vice-President, proposed expanding the clear bag policy to all sporting events instead of solely varsity games.

“I know it’s going to be incurring cost, but you can’t put a price tag on a person’s life, so I think safety is of utmost importance,” Lopez said. “We just have to come up with certain ways and I’m more than sure our community would appreciate the measure that the board is going above and beyond to make sure their safety is more important.”

Board members ultimately agreed to iron out a draft for the proposed policy and plan to bring the idea back to their next administrative meeting.

Citing concerns over random acts of violence at schools across the country, the Harlingen school district last month implemented a clear bag policy. It applies to varsity football games at Boggus Stadium.

That means “no backpacks, no purses, just a clear plastic bag, like an H-E-B bag with the two handles,” a district spokesman said.