The Brutal Backpack Dilemma

Why can’t Penns Valley Students use their backpacks?

The Brutal Backpack Dilemma

Paige Musser

At Penns Valley Area High School (PVAHS), students are not allowed to carry backpacks around to each class with them because it is considered dangerous. Students have become enraged all over the grade levels because they have to haul all kinds of school supplies through the halls and to their, often out of the way, lockers. Administration has only provided us with the knowledge that they believe it is easier for students to carry weapons if they have a bag with them.

Firstly, the basics. Backpacks are convenient. They are quite literally made to carry heavy loads of things from place to place. Many students have big books or a lot of papers to haul around and they must go through the hassle of struggling in the hallway with all of their belongings. If they had a backpack, they would be able to have the assistance of something that they already own.

If students are allowed to have their backpacks, they will be able to be more organized. All of their work and assignments will go right into their bags so they do not lose items or forget things in their lockers. This will not only cut down on students missing class time, but it will help them to keep work from getting lost and forgetting about it.

Backpacks will make classrooms cleaner. Once students are done using their binders, papers, and supplies, they will be placed right back into their backpacks, leaving a nicer, more clean and clear room for the next set of students to come.

Just last year in the 2020-2021 school year, students were allowed to have their backpacks to help lessen the spread of Covid-19. It was not a problem during that year because the school board had a higher focus: the virus. Nothing has changed since then in the safety of backpacks; therefore, they should be fine to carry with kids, today.

Administration claims that backpacks will allow students to potentially carry larger and more items such as weapons and drugs that could be harmful to other students. However, if someone had the desire to bring in a weapon or drug, they would figure out a way to do it without having their backpacks on them. If they are willing to go the extra mile and bring something like that to school, it is likely that they do not care about where they will keep it or what the consequences may be.

Leah Meyer says, “Frankly, I find it rather silly how backpacks were not an issue or a hazard during Covid but they are now. I understand the safety protocol, but why was that risk willing to be taken before? It is one of the biggest inconveniences about school especially when certain classrooms and RAM times are so far away from lockers.”

Many other schools are able to carry around their backpacks and it has not shown any hazards. Kaylee McFadden, from Bellefonte Area High School, was asked if she was allowed to carry her backpack with her from class to class at school. She says, “We can carry ours. It’s nice because my locker is at one spot and my other classes are at another. It is just more convenient to carry my bag with me.” If Kaylee did not have her backpack with her, she would be more stressed about being late to class and having to run from place to place. When Kara Johnson, from State College Area High School, was asked the same question, she says, “Yes. I can have all my things with me and I don’t have to run somewhere in between classes to go to my locker to get something.” Once again, Kara finds it much easier, less stressful, and more convenient to have her things with her.

Stress is already very common in high school students with the work load, the social interactions, and anything else that may be going on in their changing teenage bodies and lives. Reducing just a bit of stress by allowing students to stay more organized and secure by carrying their backpacks may help them a whole lot.

Overall, backpacks are convenient, allow organization, aid in reducing stress, and will help the school stay clean. These are just a few of the many reasons that backpacks should be used. Give the Penns Valley students their backpacks.