Lockers Finally Put to Use

New backpack policy forces some students to stow them in lockers

A new year and new rules; a few of Kettle Run’s teachers have come together to implement a new rule banning backpacks and cell phones from their classrooms.

Students are being required to put their backpacks and personal belongings, not needed for the class, in their lockers for the duration of the class. While the new policy doesn’t seem to be causing an excess of tardies, it has students upset as it adds an extra stop to an already busy day.

Bill Davidson, “pioneered” the rule in a sense, bringing it back from a former Kettle Run teacher’s policy.

“I can understand why Mr. Davidson does it because you don’t really need anything out of your bag,” senior Max Kratzer said. “But for classes like English or math, that would be horrible. You need to get things from your bag throughout the class every day.”

Audrey Swain, an English teacher, felt that the backpacks made navigating her classroom more difficult than it needed to be.

“In order to facilitate active learning, I need to be able to get between desks to reach students,” Swain said. “It’s fairly difficult…to navigate classroom spaces when we have a room full of desks and furniture. Therefore, I decided to implement a no backpack policy in my class so that I could move through the classroom easier.”

Teachers throughout the school have implanted the rule, but some have put their own twist on it. Graphics teacher Karen Frye has tweaked the rule, not making students leave their backpacks in lockers, but making them leave their belongings up front.

“It’s annoying to have to leave them at the front,” Alexa Powell said, a senior in one of Frye’s classes. “We constantly have to get up and get things from our bags and it just becomes tedious.”

Culinary teacher Kathryn Kiser also feels that backpacks and cell phones are unnecessary in her classroom.

“The policy in my class relates mainly to safety,” Kiser said. “Cell phones are bacteria ridden. The average cell phone has over 7,000 bacteria, which makes them dirtier than a toilet seat! The students have not been able to refrain from taking cell phones into the kitchen labs.”

Teachers who have chosen to leave the backpacks in lockers seem to be happy with the results in the classroom.

“So far there has been less mess, on the floor and in between desks, which has been great for getting around,” Swain said. “The greater benefit has been how organized students have started to become. Of course, there are still many instances of students forgetting certain things they need for class, but I feel that will lessen as time goes on.”

As the year progresses, students will acclimate to the new rules, and hopefully adjust to see the benefits as the teachers do.