Backpack Takeover


Jake Long

A common misconception around Ipswich High School is that backpacks are allowed in school. However, this is not the case. So why is there so much confusion surrounding it? The thing is, backpacks are seen positively by students and negatively by the faculty. The school believes that backpacks should only be used to bring in everything you need at the beginning of the day and then at the end of school to take home whatever is necessary for homework. For the school, backpack use other than these specified purposes are considered to be against the rules.  Students, however, view backpacks as basically a locker on their back that they are able to carry around wherever they want. Backpacks allow students to never waste anytime going to their locker and also help them keep necessary materials.

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Mr. Carovillano answered some questions about this problem. Apparently, there are two main reasons backpacks shouldn’t be used during school hours. The first reason is safety.  A few years ago in Gloucester, a student had a handgun in his backpack and when he brought it in class, he shot himself in front of everyone. The second reason is because there is no designated space for backpacks in classes, so they tend to get in the way. Mr. Carovillano knows it’s not easy to enforce the backpack rule due to the difficulty distinguishing the difference between a backpack and a large hand bag. Also, students are allowed to carry backpacks down to gym class, so it’s hard to determine where each and every student is going that’s carrying a backpack. Mr. C says, “There are not many big problems revolving around backpacks; in the past four years maybe one or two students were insubordinate, but mostly everyone just gets warnings.”

When interviewing Peter Pappas, a student who will wear his backpack till the end of time, about his thoughts about backpack use during school hours, he had nothing but positive things to say. “I do not have to constantly go to my locker before classes; I can just go to class to class without worrying about my materials for each class,” says Peter. Peter’s pet peeve is having to go all the way to his locker from lunch when his next class is either engineering or art. It does make sense; it is a complete waste of time. From a student’s perspective, backpacks are and can be very necessary to carry around throughout your day at school. Peter was then asked if he gets talked to a lot by his teachers or any of the school faculty about his backpack use. He responded saying, “Last year I was frequently talked to almost everyday about my backpack use. Although, now that I’m a senior with new teachers, they don’t seem to care about it.” So, is the backpack rule slowly fading away? Or is it just because since he is a senior they don’t care? These questions often strike up a debate about this situation.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 1.54.57 PMThere is really only one way to solve this controversy. The student government members are permissible to vote on modifying or getting rid of any school rules that they believe is wrong. The power is in the hands of the students; they are able to make the changes to our school for the best of us, so as long as we stick together, we are able to get through anything unreasonable.