It’s been a few years since professional sports venues, and later colleges, first put in place restrictions on the types of bags and backpacks fans are allowed to bring into the stadium.
The policy is falling apart as the Altoona region school district recently implemented such a policy for high school students.
How long will it be before Mifflin County, Juniata County and other neighboring school districts follow suit?
This is a sad, though necessary, commentary on the days when today’s youth are educated and growing up.
Parents, guardians and students must exercise restraint when it comes to criticism of politics, despite legitimate differences of opinion regarding the loss of privacy. The basis for the implementation of the policy is the safety of students, as well as the well-being of teachers, administrators and other district staff, as well as the general public.
Like it or not, politics is destined to become much more prevalent, as long as schools cannot be spared from the growing specter of violence now prevalent in America.
Altoona’s policy, applicable to students in grades 6 to 12, also applies to books and sports bags.
Yet even transparent backpacks, gym bags and book bags will not be the panacea for all the potential problems and mishaps that schools might encounter. Nevertheless, the new policy will be an important additional element within the framework of the much broader security efforts in place.
In the midst of this, students will receive a lesson on the reality that privacy is not an all-inclusive right or possibility in the real world, like it or not. Anyone who doesn’t believe this need only join one of the nation’s military service branches to help them gain a more complete perspective.
This “update” perspective will be firmly entrenched before they get too far into basic training.
There are many other examples in life where privacy takes the proverbial second place; no need to discuss them here, however.
Other communities are also changing. That is why many other school systems in this region are likely to follow the example of the local district.
Transparent backpacks are destined to remain a source of disagreement and controversy, even suspicion. It is reasonable to expect that some parents might view the policy as an indication of problems in schools that they were not aware of.
Again, the backpack policy was an unfortunate, albeit important and necessary, reaction at the time.
Any other district that opts for such a policy, given today’s security challenges, deserves praise, not criticism, for choosing to be proactive.
It is not an overreaction.