- Some middle and high schools are now banning students from carrying backpacks since the Parkland, FL, shooting and a wave of copycat threats to schools in their area, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
- Schools may have to increase time between classes in order to allow students a chance to go to lockers and some students are exploring creative options such as carrying clear bags or backpacks or even using laundry baskets to carry books and supplies.
- Safety experts say that the measure is mere window dressing as students with ill-intent can still find ways to smuggle in weapons.
In the wake of the Parkland, FL, shooting, schools are seeking real and perceived solutions to the problem of school violence. The number of copy-cat threats that have surfaced across the nation has increased the impact of the event and some schools are going to extraordinary measures to protect students. Banning backpacks in one such measure, though it may have negligible impact on true security.
Banning backpacks is not a new idea. Various schools across the nation have implanted this practice for other reasons such as limiting contraband items, reducing theft and saving space in the hallways. Some schools cite other, more common safety concerns such as the tripping over backpacks in hallways and classroom aisles and the strain backpacks place on the backs of students.
Though there may be a number of valid reasons for banning backpacks, the measure does have an impact on students who struggle to get to classes with a heavy load of books. This issue may be reduced by the growing number of classes that rely on online resources rather than textbooks, but students still carry tablets, school supplies and personal items. If schools decide to implement a backpack ban policy, they need to provide ample time for students to visit lockers between classes and reduce the amount of materials that students are expected to carry.