Should Students Be Allowed to Carry Backpacks Around School?
A ban at Waukesha West rankled some students and parents, though it's been done in other areas of the country. Administrators cite safety reasons; students say backpacks are more efficient.
Waukesha West High School banned backpacks during the school day this year. Principal David Towers said the ban was made for issues of safety and to prevent contraband —drugs, alcohol and weapons — from being carried around.
Such bans have taken place elsewhere, both permanently and temporarily. Fargo, ND, schools took the step last year. And a school district in New York state banned backpacks and purses for a period last spring following two arrests, one for a marijuana sale and one for a gun threat.
Students, predictably, were displeased. Some started a Facebook event to rally protests; though more than 300 people joined the event, nobody has posted to the page since Sept. 6.
But anyone who spent their high school days lugging stacks of books, folders and writing utensils around hallways in the days before backpacks became popular knows this much — it was inconvenient and inefficient, if not somewhat dangerous. One post on the Facebook event from the second day of school read:
Today Mr. Berish tripped over school supplies that were on the floor, and not in a backpack. Oh the irony..
Did Waukesha West’s principal needlessly overreact? Or do backpacks contribute to a more dangerous and disruptive school environment? Would you like to see a similar move at your school? Vote in our poll and add your thoughts in the comments.