Students understand backpack rule, even if they don’t like it


Sydney Zimmerman and Ivy Hamblen

It’s that time of year again, with school well underway, that the hundreds of students here at De Pere High School complain about the backpack policy. A commonly overheard conversation among students in the halls consists of one student complaining about sore arms and another griping about the school policy regarding backpacks.

The backpack policy is printed on page 70 of the student planners and can also be found on the school’s website, under the student tab, in “Student Handbook.” Clear as day, the policy forbids students from carrying any type of bag, including purses and laptop bags.

So what do the DPHS students really think?

Allison Beining, a junior, said, “Good for student safety, but it’s hard for students to always carry their books around, and lockers are a pain in the butt. Or, honestly, we could have clear bags!”

Along the same lines, junior Katrina Kupsky said, “It sucks when you have AP classes because you have to carry all that stuff, but I understand why we have it.”

Another solution came from junior Patrick Moeller, who added, “I think our locker shortage would be solved because students could carry everything they needed instead of using a locker.”

Patrick also suggested having backpack passes, similar to the parking passes, where there would be a certain criteria people would have to meet. This would include the staff to reserve the right to search a backpack, and, of course, requiring the student to be code approved.

Leisl Buchholz’s answer to the recurring issue was to add a few extra minutes each day to passing time.

“I’m willing to have 10 minutes at the end of the day if it means more passing time,” she said.

Freshman Ella Guex, who transferred to De Pere from a Green Bay middle school, said that this policy is stricter than Green Bay’s.

“We were allowed to have bags (at Edison), and to me personally that was really nice,” she said. “The positives are that you are forced to be organized, but my locker is on the first floor, but most of my classes are on the second. With a backpack you can have everything. I wish we could have small bags on us, just to have something to put our pencils and notebooks in.”

Math teacher Mr. Johnson said he sees both sides.

“Well, I understand the reason why they do it, for the safety,” he said. “Certainly it makes it harder for students to get to class.”

Officer Arkens said that the idea of not having backpacks was less for violence and more for room codes.

“Violence is not the biggest issue, it was health concerns,” Arkens said. “We have to keep these rooms free of clutter (to follow safety codes).”