ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) — A supply chain delay sent some Clayton County families into a frenzy days before the start of the college year.
Shipments of clear backpacks from vendors are being delayed, according to Clayton County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Morcease Beasley. The district imposed a clear bag mandate for the 2022-23 school year and spent more than $1 million on approximately 53,000 bags for students.
“They won’t get a load of books on day one, and if they do – I’m sure schools will be sensitive to the fact that they may not have the book packs and will work with the school to this end,” Dr. Beasley said. “It’s an issue that I think parents, students, teachers and principals can work on.”
Transparent bags were supposed to be given out to families at back-to-school events leading up to the first day of school. However, some families noticed that the bags were not found at certain events.
“It’s a little confusing right now,” said Dr. Connie Kitchens with two children at Clayton County Schools. “I think we should have put an alternative plan in place.”
Dr. Beasley said the district expects the full delivery of clear bags to be delivered within the first two weeks of school, but that target depends on vendors.
Despite the shortage, the district’s clear bag mandate remains in effect.
“If that’s the case where a student comes to school with something that’s unclear, the school has something in place to confiscate the backpack,” Dr Beasley said.
Confiscated cloth or “mesh” bags would be returned to students at the end of the day.
Families who cannot find or afford see-through backpacks should expect to carry their books and school supplies around campus.
“Children carrying books are nothing new. If they don’t have funds, tell your kids you don’t and move on,” Dr Beasley said. “I have already carried books. Children are a human experience.
Dr Beasley couldn’t say how many bags were out as of Friday July 29, but shared “the bags are coming in as we speak”. He did not explain how the district decides which families have priority over incoming shipments.
Some parents preparing for the new school year said they saw the shortage of bags firsthand.
Rashita Thompson said she couldn’t find any clear bags at her local Walmart.
“It’s hard to get see-through backpacks when you don’t know where they are,” Thompson said.
Other families — especially those with multiple students in the district — haven’t budgeted to buy the bags themselves.
Dr Kitchens said the situation was an opportunity for families to help each other.
“For parents who can’t afford the $30 for clear bags, let’s get the community together and try to find these book bags at Amazon, Walmart, Target, wherever they are,” she said. declared. “Let’s buy enough to give to these families until the county can get the bags they ordered.
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