Hazle Township, Luzerne County (WBRE/WYOU) Starting today, a Luzerne County School District has banned backpacks at it’s high school and all secondary schools. The ban is in response to the Florida High School shooting last month. The move caught many students by surprise when they showed up for class this morning. The I-team’s Andy Mehalshick spoke to students about the ban.
Eyewitness News saw students entering and leaving the Hazleton Area High School on Monday. Most of them did not have backpacks they carried their books in their arms or in bags. They got the word over the weekend that backpacks were no longer permitted in secondary school buildings.
“It’s just one less piece that we have to look at that somebody can conceal weapons in. We’re just taking one thing away,” said Hazleton Area SD Police Chief Ed Harry.
The School District’s Police Department Chief Ed Harry says the backpack ban is another peice to the security puzzle the district also uses standing metal detectors and hand held wand detectors to check students entering building.
“Are there other ways you can get a weapon in the building? Absolutley. But this is one less way you can do it,” said Harry.
“Actually I think it’s a good idea,” said student, Denise Baez.
The backpack ban was the talk of the high school on Monday for this mother and daughter the move is a no-brainer.
“Some students are in favor some students are not in favor but it’s not about that. It’s how we feel overall about safety. We feel more secure with less backpacks,” said Baez.
“I think it is good. Schools need more security,” said parent, Leonida Inoa.
Some students, like Argenyz Gomez, think the backpack ban is only an inconvenience for students and does not prevent weapons from being brought into the school.
“I’m pretty sure is unnecessary because if kids or anybody would like to bring a weapon they would find other various ways to bring it and not in backpacks. It’s the last thing i’m sure somebody would do,” said Gomez.
Eyewitness News checked in with school districts across the area. We found a 50-50 mix some have backpack bans in place while others do not.