The Manatee County School District is asking for its middle and high school students to keep their backpacks at home Friday.
The district announced the decision by phone and email to parents Thursday because of "the excessive number of school threats" in the aftermath of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
“We know this might cause an inconvenience to some, but all of the extra stress surrounding our schools this week has had a taxing toll on school administrators and staff, as well as local law enforcement officials,” the district wrote in a statement.
The school sent a message later saying backpacks would be permitted again starting Monday.
“The emotional and physical strain of the past week was being felt by students, parents, school staff and law enforcement,” said Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene. “We hoped that by asking students not to bring backpacks that it would help calm down some of the anxieties in our schools. It seems to have helped because today has relatively quiet.”
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