Harbinger

Backpacks Being Banned in Schools

Grace Goldberg-Doyle, Editor

Photo: Uberstock

Ever since the tragic Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida which took the lives of 17 students, schools across the country are deciding to ban backpacks to attempt to ensure the safety of students.

According to the Miami Herald, schools in Florida, Ohio, and Illinois have already put these backpack bans into place. Administrators assume if a student were to bring a weapon to school, they would keep it in their backpack. Banning backpacks makes it less like they would bring a weapon to school.

Students will still be able to use small purses or lunch boxes at the schools that ban backpacks and they will get more time in between classes to go to their lockers.

Here at Manchester High School, administrators are taking into consideration how to ensure the safety of our students. Could banning backpacks ever become a reality at Manchester High?

“It certainly hasn’t been discussed, nobody’s brought it to me Mr. Geary and I haven’t talked about that, the police and I haven’t talked about that, our safety team hasn’t brought it up yet. I mean I’m not in a position to kind of say never but no nobody’s mentioned it,” MHS principal Katelyn Miner said.

Although this ban isn’t a plan at MHS right now, the school has many other safety precautions in place.

According to an email sent to Manchester school staff by superintendent Matt Geary, “The Manchester Public School system has a detailed District-Wide Safety and Security Plan, as well as individual Safety and Security Plans customized for each school. These plans include evacuation site locations and directions, as well as detailed parent/student reunification plans.”

Mr. Geary  also mentions our safety coordinator Max Cohen, who retired from the Manchester Police Department after 34 years and has now been working in our school district for the past four years.

“Among his responsibilities is overseeing regular school safety audits. These include unannounced visits to check doors, visitor-screening practices and so on. Mr. Cohen has follow-up meetings with building principals to ensure that appropriate security measures are in place and also meets with me and other central office personnel to review his findings and make changes as needed, “ wrote Mr. Geary.  

The recent school shootings have been in the news, bringing lots of attention to this topic. In 2017, a total of 65 shootings were reported on school campuses.There are already almost two dozen in 2018, Have concerned students or parents in our community reached out to MHS administration?

“I’ve heard from probably more students, I think, than parents. I’ve had a number of students here concerned, anxious, afraid. These aren’t things that aren’t talked about, we take our cues from the research and the best practice and the state laws. We don’t on a whim change how we’re going to respond to an intruder. Those are things that are thought out at the state level and that the superintendent and police department meet to kinda discuss our response to make sure everyone understands it,” answers Mrs. Miner.

Although the rise in school shootings is concerning, luckily here at MHS we are fully prepared and have lots of protection. School safety is extremely important and a main priority.

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Grace Goldberg-Doyle, Staff Writer

Grace is a junior at MHS and this is her first year on the Harbinger staff. She is sixteen years old. Grace was born in Boston, but grew up in Manchester....

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