Clear-bag policies trickling down to high schools with good reason

It’s been a few years since pro sports venues, and then colleges, first implemented restrictions on the types of bags and backpacks that fans are allowed to carry into the stadium.

The policy is trickling downward, with Altoona Area School District recently implementing such a policy for secondary-school students.

How long will it be until Mifflin County, Juniata County and other nearby school districts follow suit?

It is a sad — albeit necessary — commentary regarding the times in which today’s young people are being educated and growing up.

Parents, guardians and students should exercise restraint, as far as criticizing the policy is concerned, despite legitimate differences of opinion concerning loss of privacy. The basis for the policy’s implementation is students’ safety, as well as for the well-being of district teachers, administrators and other staff — as well as the public in general.

Like it or not, the policy is destined to become much more widespread, as long as schools cannot be spared from the growing specter of violence that is so prevalent in America at this time.

Altoona’s policy, applicable for students in grades 6 through 12, also applies to book and athletic bags.

Yet, even see-through backpacks, athletic bags and book bags will not be the cure-all for all of the potential problems and incidents that schools might encounter. Nonetheless, the new policy will be an important added component within the much broader security efforts in place.

Amid that, students will be getting a lesson in the reality that privacy is not an all-inclusive right or possibility within the real world, like it or not. Any of them who don’t believe that need only join one of the branches of the nation’s military services to help them gain a more complete perspective.

That “updated” perspective will be rooted firmly before they are too far along in basic training.

There are numerous other examples in life where privacy assumes the proverbial second place; no need to discuss them here, however.

Other communities are changing as well. That is why numerous other school systems in this region are likely to follow the local district’s lead.

See-through backpacks are destined to remain a source of disagreement and controversy — even suspicion. It is reasonable to anticipate that some parents might regard the policy as an indication of problems in the schools about which they were not informed.

Again, the backpack policy is an unfortunate, albeit important and necessary, reaction to the times.

Any other district that opts in favor of such a policy, considering today’s safety challenges, merits praise, not criticism, for choosing to be proactive.

An overreaction it is not.


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