District Bans Backpacks For Some Students

A Kentucky school district has enacted a backpack ban for some students in an attempt to curb violence in schools.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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backpack ban

School bags have long been the staple of students’ school attire. Backpacks allow children to have a safe place to carry their textbooks, supplies, packed lunches, and much more, all neatly together draped around their shoulders and back. However, these carriers are now widely touted to be both a health and safety issue. Because of this, a Kentucky school district has ruled on a backpack ban.

The Lexington Herald Leader reported that the Knox County school district recently outlawed school bags, mainly out of an abundance of school safety concerns. This backpack ban will only affect middle and high school students, as elementary children will still be allowed to bring the book bags into school. This decision came at a time when schools all across the nation were ramping up safety measures and precautions to deter violence on school campuses.

Primarily, the fear is that students will be able to smuggle in guns, or other weapons in a backpack. A gun or knife can easily be concealed in a bag, but not so easily in the waistband of pants. The backpack ban will make it easier for school staff to identify anything possibly being brought onto the property that doesn’t belong. 

Health-related matters were also cited as the board made the decision to enact the backpack ban. For one thing, these bag straps often have been found to be a major tripping hazard inside the classroom, along with on school buses, the policy pointed out. What’s more, they noted that in many classrooms, teachers complain about the space backpacks take up, along with the safety hazard, as many activities require students to get up and move around the room. Likewise, the weight concerns and possible spinal issues backpacks can pose led to this decision. Heavy backpacks are a stickler for causing back issues, which can lead to posture, muscle, and joint problems down the road. 

Furthermore, the district felt that because of technology and revised teaching methods, school bags have become redundant, leading to the backpack ban. Within the Knox districts, students use laptops in the classroom. Likewise, textbooks are mainly a thing of the past, so students don’t need a bag to carry home all these items anymore. Much of this is because the state budget for textbook funds is diminishing, so many schools have switched to supplemental learning materials housed online. Even in classes that use physical textbooks, there aren’t enough, so students often share them, and are unable to bring them home. 

backpack ban

Despite the backpack ban decision taking place, some are skeptical that this measure will work to curb violence inside schools. Backpack bans and even schools mandating clear bags have done little to stop public schools from becoming breeding grounds for violence. Likewise, some critics of this new law pointed to a few years back, when a Knox County middle school enacted a no-bag policy, which ultimately failed. But for now, the district will enact the policy for middle and high schoolers, with the hope to improve safety and overall student well-being.