I keep seeing a few random TikToks featuring middle and high school kids carrying their books in random objects around the school. At first, I thought it was a homecoming tradition that they had made up. I got really jealous that we didn’t have that idea back in my school days. I sure as heck would have come up with something awesome. The videos show students carrying their belongings in the halls in laundry baskets, shopping carts, a sled, and even a kayak! After looking into why this is happening, the story gets a bit grim.
Long story short, in May of this year there was a school shooting at a middle school in Idaho. A sixth-grader shot two students and a janitor as the school year was ending. All victims survived, thankfully. As the new school year began, a student was found with a gun hidden in their backpack in the bathroom. After it was confirmed, the school went into lockdown. Hours later, the school board made a fast decision to ban backpacks. The backpack ban was for both middle schools and high schools in the area.
The issue of banning backpacks due to the possible scenario of carrying a gun is certainly warranted. I understand the thought process of banning a backpack, but there are other places to hide and carry a weapon. The students, of the schools, decided to find a way to carry their things, but not use a backpack. Therefore, we get entertaining TikToks to watch these students carrying their things in non-backpacks! The creativity of these kids and their new fancy “backpacks” is hilarious and I really wish, despite the circumstances, it was something we could have done growing up!
Now, before you get all upset. I am not discounting the dangers of kids bringing weapons to school. In my 8th-grade year at F.K. White, a student did bring a gun into the class I was in. The story goes that he was showing off a double-action revolver to his friend at his table, we had tables not desks in some classes. We were not allowed to have our backpacks on the table once we got into class, so he was told to put the backpack on the ground by his teacher. As he was playing with the hammer, he left it cocked while trying to hurry and get his bag off of the table. When he dropped the bag, the hammer released and the gun fired. It struck one of the students in the back, one of my friends, and punctured his lung in the process. It bounced around inside of his body and ended up lodging itself near his neck. I remember hearing the sound and then smelling gun powder. As a result, I believe the school required clear bags or mesh bags the following year for students to carry.
Maybe this little event could be turned into a time of learning. Perhaps other schools could adopt it as a day to help raise awareness of gun safety with students of all ages. I will note that after researching this whole story, there are schools that do use this as a day to celebrate school spirit week. I feel like we really missed the mark on it during my school career.