Backpacks no longer allowed at secondary schools in Idaho school district

Parents wait to pick up their kids from Rigby Middle School Thursday morning. Students in secondary schools are no longer able to use backpacks after a 13-year-old girl brought a gun to school.

Parents wait to pick up their kids from Rigby Middle School Thursday morning. Students in secondary schools are no longer able to use backpacks after a 13-year-old girl brought a gun to school. (East Idaho News, YouTube)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

RIGBY, Idaho — Effective immediately, backpacks will no longer be allowed at secondary schools in Rigby.

Monica Pauley, a spokeswoman for Jefferson School District 251, tells EastIdahoNews.com this rule applies to Rigby Middle School, Farnsworth Middle School, and both Rigby and Jefferson High Schools.

"Elementary schools will still be able to have backpacks," Pauley said. "We are doing this as a precautionary measure."

This comes in response to an incident at Rigby Middle School Thursday morning, where an emotionally struggling 13-year-old girl was taken into custody after a gun was found in her backpack.

Students are being asked to carry their books to the school and place them in their lockers. Teachers and administrators are planning to assist students where needed.

School District Superintendent Chad Martin was unavailable for further comment but did make a plea to parents in a news release.

"We ask our parents to partner with us in keeping all of our students safe. Please keep your firearms safe and inaccessible to students. If you notice changes in your student's behavior, attire, or personality notify us so we can help your student," he said.

Those with questions and concerns can reach out to school administrators.

More and more schools nationwide are banning backpacks from their buildings with the rise in school shootings. KPIX 5 in the San Francisco Bay area reports high schools in Texas, Illinois, Ohio and other states have all sent word to parents that their children will have to carry their books to and from class this fall.

Thursday's incident at Rigby Middle School happened in the wake of a shooting just four months ago at the same school. EastIdahoNews.com spoke with several parents and students Thursday morning who expressed concern about the two gun-related incidents happening so close to each other.

In May, two students and a custodian were shot, but not killed, during a shooting at Rigby Middle School. The shooter, in that case, was a sixth-grade girl, who was also taken into custody. There haven't been any further updates since then. For more information click here.

Rett Nelson

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