Their clothes were new. Their hair was trimmed. Their backpacks, however, were fashion statements — filled with the wonted supplies.
The children of Golden Hills Elementary School began arriving long before the first bell rang, decked out in the trendiest threads and carrying colorful backpacks that they said were purchased far and wide.
There were backpacks with emoji themes and backpacks with emojis clipped on. There were backpacks promoting "love" and backpacks with magical unicorns. Everything from hearts, stars and butterflies to Mario Brothers and a giant kitty cat with pink, sequin pockets.
Twin brothers Xavier and Azier Tuitt, 9, had matching backpacks featuring "Stranger Things." Asked where they bought their trendy carry-alls, the boys said, "Hot Topic." But of course ... one of the coolest stores found in most big city malls.
In addition to a vast variety of cool backpacks, the children accessorized their ensembles with cool lunchboxes, like the monkey one carried by first grader Curtis Cummings.
"I wore my Star Wars T-shirt, too, because it glows in the dark," said Cummings.
Hey, you never know when your are going to need a glow-in-the-dark T-shirt.
Also sporting fluorescent attire were the crossing guards of Golden Hills Elementary. Keeping the students safe is their top priority, including Anna Stanbrough, who has been a guard at the corner of Madre and Golden Hills boulevards for the past three years.
As a crossing guard, Stanbrough was asked what motorists could do to make her job easier.
"Quit stopping inside the sidewalk because I can't cross the kids if their car is inside the sidewalk, front or back of it," she said.
Principal Kendra Bailey has been leading Golden Hills Elementary for the past five years. She, too, had a special message for parents.
"I want parents to know that we do our very best to keep their kids safe and give their kids a well-balanced, educational experience," said Bailey.