School Backpack Ban Lifted

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Parent complaints convinced officials at Rim Country Middle School to reverse the controversial backpack ban for sixth-graders.

Critics of the ban said their sixth-graders had too many belongings and books to carry, and that the ban caused undue stress.

“This policy was creating much ill-will with parents,” Principal Gary Witherspoon wrote in an e-mail to middle school staff. One mother presented an 80-signature petition seeking to overturn the policy at a recent school board meeting.

The school board did not discuss the matter because the topic was not listed on the agenda.

The school’s site council, a group composed of school officials and parents, voted to allow backpacks, but left open the possibility of limiting their size at a future meeting.

The pilot ban was implemented as a safety measure to avoid back strain, clear classroom aisles and reduce the potential for students to carry illegal items on campus. If successful, the school would have extended the ban to other grades next school year.

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