2nd school district in US Michigan bans backpacks after loaded gun found: AP

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A second school district in the U.S. state of Michigan is banning backpacks on school premises due to concerns about gun violence, because a third-grade student has been found with a loaded gun, reported The Associated Press (AP) on Wednesday.

Grand Rapids Public Schools said in a statement that the weapon was discovered at Stocking Elementary School and that it was the fourth time this year that the district had uncovered a student with a handgun -- three of them in backpacks.

District Superintendent Leadriane Roby said at a news conference on Wednesday that the ban was "a drastic step" that was necessary.

"We have averted at least two tragedies in the last two weeks. We don't want to stand before you again," said Larry Johnson, executive director of public safety and school security.

Flint Community Schools banned backpacks beginning May 1, citing a nationwide "increase in threatening behavior and contraband, including weapons, being brought into schools at all levels."

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