Quitman Junior High adds rule restricting backpacks to lockers

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By ZAK WELLERMAN news@woodcountymonitor.com Quitman Junior High students will have to keep their backpacks in their lockers during school hours beginning this year. QJH Principal Chrystal Ballard explained the reasoning for this change in campus rules. “There is not a policy regarding the backpacks but a procedure we will use. We are going to have students leave their backpacks in lockers during the day,” Ballard said. “We believe this will promote a safer environment.”  Superintendent Rhonda Turner said clutter in the classroom from backpacks is the motivation behind the change. She noted that backpacks were in the aisle where kids walk and students trip over them. QJH campus is made up of students from sixth through eighth grade. Quitman is not alone in this type of rule. At Mineola Middle School, which houses sixth to eighth grade, students place their backpacks in their lockers during school hours, according to MISD Superintendent Kim Tunnell. “We don’t have any restrictions on the backpacks at this time. Our Middle School students leave their backpacks in their lockers during the day. Primary students have cubbies outside the classroom for their backpacks and Elementary (pupils) leave theirs in their homeroom classroom,” Tunnell explained. “Our High School students do not have lockers, so they take theirs from class to class.” Alba-Golden does not have a policy restricting backpacks, but teachers can chose if they want backpacks in the room or not, said Brandon Bohannan, Alba-Golden junior high principal. “Students are allowed to have them in our secondary buildings and classrooms. We leave it up to the teachers to determine if they want backpacks in the classroom,” Bohannan said. “Some teachers have them place their backpacks in certain areas of the class and we do have a few that have students keep them in their lockers (This is usually found in Junior High classes or classes that teachers like to have students move around such as science classes etc.)” At Yantis ISD, students are allowed to bring their backpacks in the classrooms, Yantis High School Principal Buddy Winstead said.

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