SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Middle and high school students in Suffolk Public Schools now have the opportunity to get a clear backpack as a layer of safety.

The announcement came last month, and students, on a voluntary basis, can get a clear backpack during their lunch shift.

Students at the following city schools are eligible to get a clear backpack: Nansemond River, King’s Fork and Lakeland high schools, Turlington Woods School and John F. Kennedy, John Yeates, Forest Glen, King’s Fork and Col. Fred Cherry middle schools.

Superintendent Dr. John B. Gordon III announced the initiative at the Oct. 13 Suffolk School Board meeting and stressed that it was voluntary.

Community Engagement Facilitator Melvin Bradshaw said in a Facebook post that the clear bookbags “will allow campus staff to ensure that prohibited items are not included in the students’ belongings and will help make security checks more fluid and efficient for students.”