New Jersey

New Jersey School District Mandates Clear Backpacks After Boy Brings Loaded Gun to School

The incident last month had parents demanding action

What to Know

  • The Lakewood school district in New Jersey will require all students to wear clear backpacks starting in the fall
  • The new policy comes after a boy brought a loaded gun to school and was seen showing it off on the school bus earlier this month
  • In addition, all Lakewood schools will be required to have metal detectors

The New Jersey school district where a 9-year-old boy brought a loaded gun to school will now require all students to carry see-through backpacks.

Parents in Lakewood demanded action after the boy allegedly brought the .22-caliber gun onto a school bus and transferred it into the backpack of another 10-year-old boy. Surveillance video from inside the bus showed the boys handling the gun on the bus.

The Lakewood school board has responded with a new policy starting in the fall: all students from high schoolers down to elementary school students will be required to carry see-through backpacks. 

"We don't want to have to up the security, but the situation dictates it," said Lakewood schools lawyer Michael Inzelbuch. 

In addition, all Lakewood schools will have metal detectors installed within a week. The middle and high schools already have them.

"More importantly than reassuring parents, it will be enhanced security for our children," said Inzelbuch. 

Meanwhile, the father of the 10-year-old student who's facing weapons charges says the only thing his son did wrong was not report the incident to the bus driver or school.

"My son is wrong because he should've went to the bus driver and handed in the gun or went to school and handed in the gun and he didn't," the father told News 4 in an exclusive interview earlier this month. "That's the only part my son did wrong." 

The boy's father says the 9-year-old is a friend of his son, and the 9-year-old apparently got the weapon from underneath a family member's mattress. Police have not confirmed how the 9-year-old boy got the weapon in the first place.  

"I know my son knows right from wrong but they're kids, they made a mistake," the father said. "They make mistakes but they're not the type who is going to go shoot up schools like the rest of these kids." 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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