Middle and high school students in the Cypress-Fairbanks (Texas) district will be required to use clear backpacks beginning in 2018-19.
Superintendent Mark Henry wrote in a message on the district's website that the district's safety and security committee recommended the policy change as it looks at ways to bolster campus security
"We are living in a difficult time requiring difficult decisions from school districts," Henry wrote. "While these changes present an inconvenience to our students and parents, we must continue to be vigilant to protect the safety of our students and staff."
Cypress-Fairbanks, in the northwest part of the Houston metropolitan area, is the third-largest school district in Texas, with about 115,000 students.
Under the district's policy, elementary students will be allowed to use traditional backpacks as they have in the past.
Middle and high schools will permit students to use athletic bags and musical instrument cases, with some restrictions.
"These bags must be stored as soon as the student arrives at school," the district says. "They must be placed in lockers or secured in Fine Arts classrooms or athletic locker rooms as designated by their instructors."
The new policy also limits the size of purses for students in middle and high schools. They may be no larger than six by nine inches.
The clear backpacks are allowed to have mesh side pockets and colored straps, but stripes or large logos that obstruct views will not be permitted.
Henry says the safety and security committee will continue to meet during the summer and may recommend additional safety measures for the coming school year.