Covering Chicago's Back-to-School Season

Students Say They Were Turned Away For Wrong Backpack

Curie High School began enforcing a clear-backpack policy Tuesday

By Christian Farr
|  Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013  |  Updated 7:47 PM CDT
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On the first day back from a long holiday weekend, Curie High School began enforcing a clear-backpack policy that's already in place at other Chicago Public Schools. Christian Farr reports.

On the first day back from a long holiday weekend, Curie High School began enforcing a clear-backpack policy that's already in place at other Chicago Public Schools. Christian Farr reports.

Some students at a Southwest Side high school said they were turned away Tuesday because they didn't have the proper backpack.

On the first day back from a long holiday weekend, Curie High School began enforcing a clear-backpack policy that's already in place at other Chicago Public Schools.

The school district told NBC 5 the principal reminded students and parents last week the policy would be strictly enforced. Calls were made to parents and the following message was posted online:

"Parents and students please be aware that only clear book bags will be allowed in the school building this year. Any student who arrives to school with a book bag that is not clear will have to turn the bag over to security at the door. Students may pick up their non-clear book bags at the end of their school day."

Groups of students were seen outside the school after classes began Tuesday. Some students said security offered them the option to carry their things or put them in a plastic bag, but others maintained they were turned away.

"They just told us if you don't have a clear book bag that you have to leave," sophomore Nayeli Martinez said.

"They just told me to go," sophomore Brian Dunigan said. "They didn't say anything about a plastic bag to me."

A CPS spokesperson said no students were suspended or turned away. If they did not have a clear backpack they had the option to leave it in the school office and carry their books.

Patrice Coleman said she did notice plastic bags were being offered to carry around books for the day, but she decided against it.

"They were taking our purses, our book bags and giving us plastic bags to carry around school," she said "I didn't even try because I didn't want to argue with them.

The students said they would buy the correct backpack tonight.

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