SHIOCTON, Wis. (WBAY) - The start of the school year is a little more than a month away, and one local district says it's changing what students are allowed to bring to class.
As preparations for the next school year are underway at Shiocton High School, the district announces a new policy for students in 9th through 12th grades.
Starting this fall, high school students can carry purses and their school supplied computer bags to class, but big bulky backpacks will have to stay in their lockers. The decision comes after a year-long study.
"When you look at the multitude of backpacks and then purses and then our Chromebook bags, and then some people want to bring their whole duffel bag because then they're headed to gym class next, it really has become a safety issue," says District Administrator Nichole Schweitzer.
By keeping backpacks out of classrooms, tripping hazards are being removed should students and staff need to evacuate quickly.
No bags makes it harder for someone to conceal a weapon, though not something district officials anticipate would happen in shiocton, but still a proactive move.
The new policy is also healthier for students who carry too much in their bags.
And less clutter on the classroom floor makes it easier for teachers to interact with students.
To accommodate the change, the district isn't adding time on to the three minutes students have in between classes but more convenient lockers will be utilized.
Schweitzer adds, "You know what, guys, you have plenty of time in passing. Go back to your locker, get what you need and then go to your class."
The change in the backpack policy is a topic of discussion in Shiocton. Parents told Action 2 News they don't see an issue with it. Students however, had a different take.
School officials say they just want students to try it out before passing any judgment on the change.
And, according to Schweitzer, "We feel really confident that the change is for all of the right reasons."
And it's one the district intends to follow once students are back in class.