Thursday, January 28, 2021
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Odle’s Backpack Conundrum

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Almost all of the rules in Odle Middle School are followed without any problems. Most students have no objections to the rules set in place by School Administrators, except for one rule; the now infamous “No backpacks are allowed to be carried through school.”

Administrators believe only the necessities such as a binder, pencil pouch, laptop, and water bottle if desired should be carried to each class. Students’ backpacks should be kept in their given locker.

This rule seems unimportant when compared to some of the other rules, and most expect each student to care less about it. However, the question is, “Why are Odle students breaking this rule?”

I have no answer to this question, but my theory on the issue is that students just want to make their lives easier. If one carries their backpack around, then they could easily avoid spinning a lock three times each day or to get books.

The 21st Century is the global age. We all live in a world of technology that aims to simplify all of our lives. My view is that we have all become “attached” to the idea that there is an easier way to do it and that way is the right way.

Going back to the issue of backpacks, I can see why students are partaking in this. Now, you don’t have to go to a locker, everything is with you, and most importantly, life just got simpler!

Given those plausible reasons, there’s the question of; “Is this the right thing to be doing?” In other words, “Is it wrong to carry your backpack around?”

This question is quite hard to answer. It’s quite the dilemma to think about. On one side, we have the issue of breaking school policy, but it’s such a small issue that is rarely checked.

Many of the teachers do not even care about this rule; except for the few that really do care.

A couple of weeks ago, right after Mid-Winter Break, the Odle Administrators had a PowerPoint Presentation reminding students not to carry their backpacks or be given an unexcused tardy to put their backpack away.

Aaron Miller, principal of the school, provides some many reasons to why Odle keeps this policy. He says, “We have found that 30 backpacks in a classroom make it more difficult to move around the classroom.  The backpacks also pose a tripping hazard for students and staff in the classroom.  In general, we think it is safer for students to store backpacks in lockers.”

Mr. Miller makes a good point. Having 30 or so backpacks can disrupt the flow of a classroom. Backpacks can also be a fire hazard in classrooms. If a fire were to break out, having backpacks on the ground could make it harder to get out of a classroom.

My personal opinion is that students should be given the option to choose whether or not they want to use a locker. This policy would allow students to have a choice in what they want to do, and no one would be left out. I think that the issue of a fire hazard can be averted with the storing of backpacks under tables and strict enforcement of that. Binders, notebooks, and pencil cases are just as much of a tripping hazard as backpacks.

On a last note, two students in the 7th Grade students have started a petition to abolish this policy. Their goal is to receive 500-600 signatures before submitting it to the administrators.

This policy is far from being resolved at this time. Who knows if the petition will be able to get backpacks into classrooms. Who knows if students will have to continue using their lockers. It’s time to act on this issue as soon as possible.


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