Atlanta Public Schools announce change to bag policy at sporting events

Atlanta Public Schools has made a change to its bag policy during sporting events this school year.

"To provide a safer environment for the public and significantly expedite fan entry into Atlanta Public Schools Athletic venues, the APS Office of Safety and Security will implement an Operational Clear Bag Procedure beginning August 20, 2021, that limits the size and type of bags that may be brought into stadiums, gymnasiums, and other athletic fields," APS wrote in a release on Thursday.

Coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, grocery bags, cinch bags, non-approved chair backs, and seat cushions, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags, or any bag, clutch or purse that is larger 4.5" x 6.5" will not be allowed.

APS said the new bag policy is in line with what the Falcons, area colleges, and other sporting and concert venues currently have as their policy.

"Public safety and stadium security procedures are reviewed each year as we look for ways to improve them," said APS Police Chief Ronald Applin. "These proactive measures are meant to enhance safety inside the stadium and speed the security screening process for all fans to ensure an enjoyable experience as we strive for a safe and secure environment."

The new bag policy also means less time waiting in line and will aid in the district’s COVID-19 mitigation protocols.

"The clear bag is easily and quickly searched and greatly reduces faulty bag searches," Applin said. "This will enable us to move fans through our security checkpoints much faster."

Fans can carry tote bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12", one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag, or small clutch bags with or without a handle or strap, no larger than 4.5" x 6.5" that can be taken into the stadium in one of the clear plastic bag options.

Parents can still carry diapers and wipes, but they must be in the 12"x6"x12" clear bag and not in a traditional diaper bag.

An exception will be made for medically necessary items and will require proper inspection before being permitted.

In addition, APS warns that all spectators could face additional screening.

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