NO Bookbags


Tempest Arnold

Tempest Arnold, Staff Writer

It was announced suddenly on Oct. 9 that students are no longer allowed to have their book bags with them during the school day. WCHS principal, Mrs. Candice Haffner cited safety reasons for the change that was put into effect Monday, Oct. 15.

Students were initially upset by this news. “They haven’t been enforcing lockers so how can they just start out of nowhere?” students asked. Some students said they feel like this new school rule is creating more problems than solving them.

“There’s no way I can make it to the bathroom and my locker as I change classes and most of my classes are in the 300s and my locker is in the 100s” said senior Gary Buckner.

Many students asked what would happen if something was stolen? Can anybody here pay for it to be replaced? School

resource officer Tiffany Osburn said there are many cameras around the building and if anything happened to be stolen out of a locker, she would catch it.

Students who fail to follow this rule would be considered as non-compliant according to the student code of conduct. The student that breaks a rule would be giving a few ASIs and if it continues then would be suspended. Students were not happy about this.

Mrs. Haffner said there would be no adjustment to the 4 minutes between classes to accommodate the change. “I went from the band room all they way to a locker by Mr. Grove’s room… put in the locker combination, pretended I was getting books, and walked all the way to Mr. Earl’s room, 408. I’m 60 years old, I had on high heels, and I did it in 3 minutes and 3 seconds,” Mrs. Haffner said.

This new policy was put in place by a threat assessment team. The team, which includes police

officers, district administration, medical personnel, mental health personnel and building administration, met in September to get everything in order for making the school a safer place. The team, which is meant to identify, evaluate and address threats or potential threats to school security, had a follow up meeting where they made this backpack policy a new rule. There have been issues dealing with bookbags over the years. The threat assessment team reviews incidents of threatening behavior by students (current and former), parents, school employees or other individuals.

Despite initial concerns, students have adjusted well to the new policy. “It doesn’t really affect me. I understand why it was put in place. I think it would have been better if it was put in place a little bit earlier in the school year so students would have had a heads up instead of just like that,” said senior Caleb Harris.

“I only have 1 binder. My back doesn’t hurt. I can actually get to classes faster and a friend of mine keeps food in her locker so I can go there in between classes and eat” said junior Aliyah Applin.