Eliminating backpacks can eliminate problems


Natalie Larimer, Online Sub-Editor

Now, I know I’m going to sound like a privileged and sheltered child when I say this, but I was unaware that other schools had a policy of not allowing backpacks to be carried around through the day. This fact surprised me so I decided to test it out.

Since most of my classes are relatively close to each other, it was pretty simple for me to set up a central location: the J-Lab (journalism lab). I went up before school the morning of Jan. 15 and set my bag under a counter and grabbed the things I needed for AP Chemistry. I stopped back in the J-Lab to grab any other things I needed for classes, but generally all I need is my folder, pen, planner, and iPad. Due to the fact that I spend like half my day in the J-Lab, it was super easy to keep my stuff organized and not forget some things for my classes. Then at the end of the day, I grabbed my bag and headed out. It was really quite simple.

I’ve done this for over a week now, and my back feels great. I don’t get random shoulder aches at work anymore, and my posture has improved. I don’t forget things for my classes because this system makes me think of what I actually need for each period. I have a backup list in my planner just in case I can’t seem to think of what I need, but I rarely use it.

My idea is that since we are building a new high school, what if we got bigger lockers and longer passing periods and eliminated backpacks? We’d have fewer backaches, more organization, and it’d be a great security measure. Thinking realistically here, a campus monitor and some lanyards aren’t going to prevent us from being shot. If someone wants to bring a gun into school with our current policy, all they’ve got to do is put it in their bag and nobody would know. It’d be way more obvious to be carrying a notebook and a handgun down the hallway.

Yes, we’d have to extend the passing periods. But what if, and this is a random idea out of nowhere (like this whole plan), we assigned lockers based on what classes we were taking that semester? We’d change lockers at semester break, and they’d be more centralized to allow us to stop by on the way to our next class rather than running from the history hallway to the math hallway and then back to science hallway. We could extend passing periods by like two to three minutes, only forfeiting like 15 minutes of our day. I think we can give that up in order to not be shot and also save us on hiring a chiropractor.

For real though, if you are able to, try going without a backpack for a day. It’s liberating.