Should the No Backpack Rule be Eliminated?


Audrey Engel, Reporter

For the past few years, Adams has been enforcing a strict no backpack policy. Many schools across the country allow students to carry backpacks whether they have different safety precautions such as metal detectors, or nothing at all. With the increasingly relevant threat of gun violence, the backpack policy is seen as a precaution for preventing students from bringing weapons and drugs to school. At Adams, students who bring backpacks to class are told to place them outside of the classroom. Most teachers enforce this rule, as I am never able to take my backpack to class. 

One critique of this rule is that students can easily conceal weapons and drugs in sweatshirts or clothing items, as school officials generally adopt the idea that students will carry firearms in their backpacks. Although a backpack is an easy transporter for weapons, school officials tend to ignore the simplicity of placing guns in pockets and places other than a backpack. This leads to another point: backpacks are not the issue, guns are. Instead of banning backpacks in class and ignoring the real issue, gun control needs to be implemented. A French student, Erik Sillaste, stated that carrying backpacks is extremely common not only in France but throughout Europe. When asked why, Sillaste responded, “it’s because we don’t have the school shooter issue.” A lack of gun control in America clearly causes many consequences, small and large. Sillaste provides evidence that America overlooks solutions to common issues within the U.S., voting in favor of the NRA or in a partisan fashion instead.  A ban on backpacks is simply not the solution to the growing issue. As discussed earlier, students can easily conceal weapons in clothing items and other objects if necessary. Gun violence, being the issue driving the no-backpack policy, should be addressed, rather than enforcing superficial rules that are not sufficient measures for prevention. 

Aside from the issue of America’s necessity for gun control, there is a lack of evidence to back the no backpack policy. There is a large shortcoming in the reasoning of school officials, as backpacks are just one way to conceal weapons and other materials and bring them into class. In addition, the convenience of backpacks in Adams’ short five minute passing periods would be extremely beneficial, especially in getting to school on time. With the current rules in place, I go to my locker each morning across the school from my English class, and then return to my English class, always at least a couple minutes late. With the omission of the no backpack rule, I more than likely would have made it to school on time. The no backpack rule at Adams lacks purpose and reasoning and should be eliminated.