Backpacks in Classes at PHS

——As of 16:00 on 24 March, the petition has been pulled and will be given at the Board Meeting—— Along with other policy changes for the 2008-2009 year, the use of backpacks in -- or better said: for -- classes was eliminated. PHS students have used them to carry their ton of books for a long while. There is no reason for this inconvenience, least of all security. Fortunately, both We The Students and the Board agree on this. (1) The denial of backpacks for their intended use is about "lockers" and "time", as it stands right now anyway. The current reasoning: We do not need backpacks because we have lockers in which to put our books. We do not need backpacks because we have time to access our lockers. But the quantity and weight of books and most of all amount of time do not matter If I had *one* more minute, I could drop off my three French books in my locker before going to Chemistry. If I had *one* more minute I could drop off my large Chemistry book in my locker before my last class of the day. ***How many times a day do you have an exactly same situation*** Our backs handle these temporary loads much better than our arms, wrists, and the good posture that some of us still actually try to have. Not to mention, the ultimate punishment for having one is laughably inane. Suspension That's supposedly a result of 'insubordination', but then it still sounds very much like the Board just wants to flex some control over us, so they take away something and let an excessive punishment follow. (1) May people driving cars out of their driveways be arrested. We must do everything we can to keep the streets from getting crowded. Whatever the wrong reason, make use of democracy -- sign for Backpacks in Classes! Amendment 1: It seems We and the Board do not agree on this after all. A student was called into a meeting with the superintendent, and he said that the reasons for not having backpacks are Columbine-esque. PHS had only been exempt because it didn't have enough lockers for its students. As expected in a rather opaquely-ran government, there is no accessible documentation on the WVDoE website (http://wvde.state.wv.us/index.html) for the reasoning of the ban. The ludicrousness of the punishment of having a backpack in class still seems rather sound. Let this be reiterated: harmful objects — bombs, knives, pistols — do not require duffelbags, let alone backpacks. The hoodies on every three students and the pocket-pants on almost all students can transport those weapons. While it is not impossible (though improbable) that a student would bring large firearms, it is still not a reason to ban the use of backpacks. A less intrusive, and perhaps better, solution would be responsible peers telling a counsellor when a student seems lifelessly depressed, because generally happy and sane students are not going to take guns out on everyone. Furthermore, a person intending such an act does not need to be permitted to use their backpacks in class: the locker areas before and after school are more crowded than most classes, /satire/ which makes it suspicious the Board hasn’t banned backacpacks from simply entering the building — or the campus, for that matter /satire/. They want the correlation to Columbine to sadden and halt us. Yet there are reasons why the government did not annihilate the airline industry after September 11: it would be a violation of freedom and an arbitrary use of power for temporary security — in other words: “positive” tyranny. The Departments of Education are some of the most oppressive forms of government (and with the restrictions on food, Cuban government comes to mind). Let the Board answer this: if the ban of backpacks stop student-shooters, why don’t the existence of police stop burglaries Benjamin Franklin said it perfectly: Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither. Notice on the use of data you give this petition: names and comments will be given to some official of the BoE in the end. Even if you signed anonymously on the internet, your name is still visible in the database, and you will be signed on the paper version under what you entered in the name field. If you'd like your initials to appear instead of what you entered in the field, email PHSbackpacks (at) me.com

Sponsor

This petition is currently sponsored by both of PHS' political clubs, but is not political and is open to everyone wanting to take some weight off their hands. Literally. Get everyone you supporter you can imagine to sign it. Friends. Parents. Teachers. Alumni. ALL of them. The easiest way to each the 1000+ students that would support this is through the internet, through all of you.

Links

This petition will be presented to people of the Board eventually, but until then, go ahead and email someone directly: http://wvde.state.wv.us/boe/ The more they hear us the better.

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