This year, a new rule was implemented by the science department which forbids students to
bring their backpacks into the science classrooms. Disobeying this rule often results in the students
being marked tardy. According to a recent poll posted by Ryan Shimizu on the SMIS High School
Facebook group, 99% of high school students are in favour of being able to bring backpacks into
science classroom. The science teachers however, are reluctant to allow this change to take place.
The main reason why so many students want change is due to the inconvenience of having to
stop by their lockers before class. This increases the time it takes for students to get from class to
class, increasing the risk of them being marked tardy by their teachers. Because of this, students have
become extremely resourceful when trying to avoid being marked tardy. The fear of arriving late has
driven some to try to hide their backpacks behind the water fountains in the science corridor as well
as other places around there. To most, if not all high school students, the ability to bring backpacks
into science classrooms is a solution to all of their issues.
The teachers, however, remain inflexible when it comes to changing the new rule. Their
strongest arguments can be classified under the umbrella term of safety issues. Firstly, allowing
students to bring their backs into the classrooms would increase the risk of tripping over them.
Tripping over backpacks in cramped science classrooms can dangerous. Another argument presented
by science teachers was that students carry too much weight on their shoulders. In the long term,
this could lead to poor posture and chronic pain. Overall, the teachers feel safety should not be
sacrificed for the sake of convenience.
The main issue with these arguments is that they could technically be applied to all
classrooms in the school, however science classrooms are the only backpack-free zones in the school.
In all other classes students are able to leave their backpacks on the floor near their desk and as long
as the backpacks are not in anyone’s way, there is no real issue. The only scenario when tripping over
a backpack would be more dangerous in a lab than in another classroom is during a practical. This
can be easily resolved as a teacher could simply inform the students the day before the lab not to
bring their backpacks to class. Furthermore, students only need to carry their backpacks for very
short periods of time when moving from class to class. Consequently, the lack of weight on their
shoulders and backs when going to class might not be such a significant benefit after all.
Many feel that the best solution would be to allow the students bring their backpacks into
the science classrooms due to the lack of strong arguments against it. Looking forward to next year,
high school students hope that this rule will be reverted.
Article by Adam Zbikowski