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No Backpacks or Purses

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johnskim johnskim is offline
 
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No Backpacks or Purses
Old 10-08-2012, 12:56 PM
 
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What are the rules in your building with backpacks and purses? We are trying to come up with a good plan for students. The number one rule for no backpacks/purses is saftey. Some parents are complaining because of the three minute passing time, and the students were allowed to bring backpacks/purses last year. Our middle school is not a large building, so most students get to their lockers and back to class on time. We need ideas...do you have any?


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Old 10-08-2012, 01:00 PM
 
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I remember having 3 minutes between classes and two classes between breaks in JH and HS. I just carried all my stuff for two classes at a time. It's usually a binder, two textbooks, and a couple of other little things at most. It's not that big a deal.

Our students have 5", and I tell them to carry two classes' worth if they can't make it between periods.
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Safety?
Old 10-08-2012, 01:15 PM
 
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How does having no backpacks or purses contribute to safety? Not trying to be snarky, I genuinely don't understand.

At the district I sub in, purses and backpacks are allowed.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:17 PM
 
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What about the "personal" items girls that age may need?
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:26 PM
 
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We have the no backpacks, tote bags, or purses rule in our building. There are some kids that we have to send back to the lockers every single day to put their things away.

We're not so much concerned with safety as room and behavior. Kids can keep 1001 distractions in a tote bag, purse, or backpack. Limiting them to the things they really need for class helps a lot. Also, our classrooms have between 30-40 students in them at the same time. It's hard enough to have room for people, and when you factor in all of the backpack straps and bags in the aisles, it's a tripping hazard.

As far as girls and their personal items, I remind them that they can't do anything with those items in the classroom anyway, so they might as well stop at the locker on the way to the bathroom.

None of our classes require textbooks. They can make it through the entire day with a notebook. Kids with band instruments or large sports bags take those to the necessary rooms upon arrival in the mornings.


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Old 10-08-2012, 06:29 PM
 
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Only bags that remain open are allowed...no zippers! This is to prevent them from bringing things they don't need to class with them.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:40 PM
 
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At the MS I taught bookbags, totebags, etc. were not allowed. We strongly discouraged purses too,but there were always those that had their "friend" every freaking day of the month

As a 6th grade team we also had a rule that all cell phones were to be in lockers. For the most part it worked.

We had locker time 1st thing in the morning and they got materials for two classes. Then we did locker time either right before or right after lunch and they got materials for the rest of the day. At the end of the day they went to their lockers again.
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Clear backpacks
Old 10-08-2012, 06:52 PM
 
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Our district has a clear backpack rule - only clear plastic backbacks so that we do not have students bringing in concealed weapons or drugs.

Additionally, once they are in the classroom, all bags are supposed to be lined up against the wall. Some students are better at this than others. I believe the intent is a mix of "don't pull out contraband items during instruction" and "don't trip the teachers."

These rules are not routinely enforced, and purses are an exception to the rules. Also, there are a number of students who refuse to let their bags stray from their reach saying that there are valuable things in them (and yes, they get my sympathy with that one! If you are a child who does not have many possessions, in a school where theft is rampant, I wouldn't trust my backpack in a group along the wall either!) I would love for the district to switch to "no backpacks" since the students only need notebooks and writing supplies anyway!

BTW - I would have to say the vast majority of our girls wear pants with pockets every day - perfect for storing the hygiene products they need.

The time spent reminding students of the rules and tripping over straps along the edge of the room makes me wish for elementary school self-contained classrooms and cubbies!
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Middle School/Jr High (6-8)
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