A North Carolina school district plans to auction off 46,000 unused see-through backpacks as it tries to recoup the money it spent on a safer schools plan.
The Charlotte Observer reports that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg District spent nearly $500,000 on high school backpacks. Critics, however, said little to no research has proven backpacks can help stop guns at the door. The backpacks were ultimately not used after school officials were surprised to find that many of them had a cancer-causing chemical warning label when unpacked.
At its regular meeting on Tuesday, the Board of Education is expected to approve the sale of surplus backpacks and other goods through online deals.
“After exhausting return and resale options, the superintendent’s recommendation to the Board of Education on Tuesday is the dispersal of inventory in a surplus auction,” district spokeswoman Cassie said Saturday. Fambro, in a press release.
Over two years, the district plans to spend millions to add staff and support programs, and increase the number of social workers, counselors and psychologists in schools, according to a January special report by the Observer.
At least 30 firearms were found on district campuses during the 2021-22 academic year.
Last week, an Observer analysis found the district saw a decrease in the second half of the school year in the number of firearms found on campuses. Many attribute the improvement to the placement of body scanners in some high schools to detect weapons and the broader use of an anonymous reporting app by students.