The Instigator
MedivealClaire
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
ThePrincesska25
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Banning Backpacks and Purses in Schools

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/18/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,858 times Debate No: 27332
Debate Rounds (3)
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MedivealClaire

Con

Elizabeth Davis Middle School has enacted a ban on backpacks. Students are only given 4 minutes in between classes. This not enough time to get from one end of the building to the other, much less to stop at the lockers.

Elizabeth Davis wants to ban bags and backpacks, but they do not give students enough time to go to their locker. This ban also includes purses. Not allowing middle school girls to be able to carry purses is just wrong, and if you then include the lack of time between classes for these girls to go to the bathroom, it makes you wonder who the school is really concerned with. Other schools have tried this, and were sued by parents.

Textbooks are heavier than they used to be, and some have workbooks that go along with them. They also need a notebook for each class. To make it worse, students only get to go to their locker a few times a day, not after every class. That is a minimum of 2 heavy textbooks, 2 notebooks, a pencil case, and 1 or 2 workbooks.

The school is using safety as a reason for the ban. Backpacks are allowed into the building, but they have to stay in the locker. I feel this is not a safety issue because if it"s weapons or drugs Elizabeth Davis is concerned with, students can conceal things in the backpack and it still ends up inside the school. Some say that backpacks cover up the aisle in classrooms and teachers trip over them. But if students can't have backpacks, where does all the extra stuff go when they are in class? Does it not clutter up the aisle as much, if not more than, a backpack?

All I am asking for is reasonableness. If they insist on banning backpacks, then give the students AMPLE time to get to and from their lockers. The school is asking for the impossible. I would not be able to do what it is they are asking the students to do.
ThePrincesska25

Pro

Your disagreement with the choices of Elizabeth Davis Middle School is somewhat warranted, but not fully. Passing periods should be increased by one to two minutes if this ban is to stay in place, but many of your other points are not fully correct.

You said that "Not allowing middle school girls to be able to carry purses is just wrong" I am a girl and when I went to middle school I didn't carry a purse at all. There are other ways to carry sanitary napkins and other essentials without a purse, and having a purse in school encourages having things like lip gloss, ipods, and other non-necessary distractions available during class. Ignoring the amount of time for passing periods because it is a problem with Elizabeth Davis Middle School and not banning backpacks and purses in general, Elizabeth Davis Middle School is on the right track. Girls aren't the only ones who bring distractions into the classroom. I cannot count the number of times I have seen, in middle school and high school, boys and girls bring things like Rubik's cubes into class for the sole purpose of messing around. Without a large concealed place to hide these distractions it would be easier for administration to stop these distractions before they get in the classroom.

Though I know my middle school experience was a little out of the normal, we never had as many textbooks as you are describing. In middle school I only had one math text book, none of my classes had work books, and some of my classes kept our notebooks in the room. One year of middle school, despite 5 minute passing periods, I didn't use a backpack and my first semester of high school, even with 3 textbooks, a notebook for every class and a vocabulary workbook, I was able to manage my time and get all my things to each class without a backpack. Not having a backpack does make things a little more tedious, but it is perfectly possible to function without one since sometimes it is necessary for safety reasons.

There is a big concern with drugs and weapons, and if backpacks are required to stay in lockers it is easier to handle something like a bomb threat or possible drug use. When a school is alerted about one of these things one of the things they will do is bring in a bomb or drug dog to sniff out any danger. If the bomb is in a backpack with a student then it will take twice as long for the dog to locate it because it will have to go past every locker and in every classroom. Also if the dogs have to enter classrooms then the kid will be aware of the search and may set off the bomb. If backpacks are required to be on lockers then the dog can find the bomb and alert the authorities without the kid even knowing that the search is going on. As for weapons, forcing students to keep their backpacks in lockers during the day will narrow down the number of times during the day that the student can try to harm others. If an armed attack is possible at anytime during the day it is harder to keep an eye on every potential student, but if the times are only before and after guards can respond faster and keep more students safe.

The problem with backpacks in aisles is not mostly because of teachers tripping, having backpacks in those places is a fire hazard. They quickly ignite and also make evacuation more difficult.

Also backpacks in hallways are cumbersome and can be accidentally swung into someone's face. Carrying books in front of you makes it easier to not hurt someone else with your belongings because you can see clearly the consequences of turning a certain way when with a backpack you would have no idea.

Though you cannot have this ban and short passing periods combined, it is beneficial and very possible to function well in school without a backpack.
Debate Round No. 1
MedivealClaire

Con

MedivealClaire forfeited this round.
ThePrincesska25

Pro

ThePrincesska25 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
MedivealClaire

Con

MedivealClaire forfeited this round.
ThePrincesska25

Pro

ThePrincesska25 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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