Backpack Ban


Katie Bryan, Staff Reporter

Are they a necessary convenience, or a health hazard? Since 2020 the school has decided to be lenient with the rule that backpacks are supposed to be kept inside the students’ lockers. Administration and scheduling did this because of the close proximity people would be in to get their books. This was only for COVID reasons. Next year, since the school is closer to a sense of normal, they will reimpose the rule and require that students keep their backpacks in their lockers and not bring them to class. 

It would be an understatement to say that students reacted negatively to this news. Ellen Sicaranza ‘24, stated, “The five minutes it takes to get our backpacks takes away from social time before classes.” Students currently use the 5-minute passing time before classes to socialize in the rooms of their next class, a concern is that they wouldn’t be able to socialize if they are rushing to get their books and running to get to class on time. Esther Adebei ‘24 suggested solving the issue of not having enough time by, “extending the time between classes, or increasing leniency for lateness.” 

It’s very practical for students, especially Rayan Kashif  ‘24 who recently tore his ACL. He said, “Honestly it was nice taking my bag everywhere when I was injured. Going up the stairs was not an option for a bit and if I didn’t have my bag, then it would have made things take forever.” Each class requires different books and materials and Oliver Stanko ‘24 commented, “​​I like being able to have my sweatshirt in my bag, deodorant if I have gym, a water bottle, headphones etc. It’d be so inconvenient to carry everything like that in my arms.” In the interviewing process there has yet to be a student who is in support of the reinforcement of the backpack rule and yet to be a teacher who isn’t.


Scott Clothier, upper-school history teacher, has a very strong opinion on backpacks. “I am very excited that we are getting rid of the backpacks. They take up too much space and they are a hazard.” Donald Morton, another upper-school history teacher was interviewed as well and he shared two stories where backpacks were a hazard, and even caused bodily harm. A student was wearing their backpack and turned, which resulted in Morton’s new globe falling and breaking. Another story was that someone tripped over a backpack that was lying on the ground in the middle of a classroom and broke their wrist. Morton shared that, “This school is built for forty percent of the people here. It’s a health hazard at this point because we simply do not have enough space for the students and the backpacks in the classrooms.” 

Some alternative solutions were suggested. Oliver Stanko agreed, saying, “One of the main issues is that teachers trip over backpacks, but I find it strange to immediately jump to banning backpacks instead of enforcing some kind of regulations about having your backpack under your desk, or something like that.” As mentioned previously, both students and teachers have suggested that it would be smart to include a few more minutes of passing time to allow students to switch their books at their lockers without generating stress. 

Morton explained that because all of the 9th and 10th graders’ high school experience has included bringing backpacks to class, “they feel like they’re losing something.” On many other subjects he often sides with the student opinion whether that be dress code or Wednesday schedule, but this time he’s strongly on the opposing side. He said, “I think extra passing time is reasonable. But, I would encourage students to not make this the hill that they die on.”