Schools are coming up with increasingly desperate ways to keep their students and staff safe.
In the initial aftermath of the Florida shooting, concerned parents started fishing out hundreds of dollars to buy bullet-proof backpacks for their children. Now, some schools are banning backpacks all together as they fear a student could easily carry a gun in them.
Some schools in Ohio, Florida and Illinois have already implemented the ban and their students are coming up with inventive ways to carry their books.
The Niles McKinley High School in Niles, Ohio, will no longer allow students to bring their backpacks inside the building. Instead, students can bring only lunch boxes or small purses, in an attempt to “make every student feel safe.” Children will keep their books and supplies in their lockers and will be given extra time to retrieve them before class.
The move came a day after a student was reportedly heard talking about school shootings.
Backpacks were also banned in middle and high schools in Manatee County, Florida, after more than a dozen threats were reported to the school district.
Six students were later arrested and the schools decided to treat its students’ safety seriously.
“If you’re going to bring a weapon to school, you wouldn’t hang it around your neck,” said Scott L. Hopes, a member of the county’s school board. “You’d probably put it in a backpack.”
Marion High School in Illinois has not gone as far to ban backpacks entirely — but they have to be see-through and left in a locker. The policy forced some students to bring their school supplies in things like laundry baskets.
Officials at Winfield High School in West Virginia will no longer allow students to bring cell phones on school grounds. The decision came after someone texted a threat on a texting app. The school is now requiring students to leave their backpacks in lockers — only see-through bags can be brought into class.
Although the backpack ban seems to be an extreme measure, banning them is not new. The Clark County School District in Las Vegas implemented a ban in 2005 to prevent “increasingly cluttered hallways and reported thefts.” However, this time around, the threat to schools is much more serious.
Rhonda Campbell, whose child attends the school, likes the decision.
“I agree 100 percent,” Campbell said. “We need to do whatever we can to keep our children safe. They are scared and we are too.”
This just goes to show how worrying the situation is, for parents and teachers alike, that they have to resort to such desperate measures to keep their child safe.