The “Mountains”


Madalyn Schroeder

Two CHS students walk down the hall together with their backpacks on. Ingrid and Sophie discuss the physical strain backpacks have on high school, and discuss solutions to this problem.

At Wydown Middle School, students are forced to leave their backpacks in their lockers throughout the day. However, at Clayton High School, students are allowed to carry their backpacks around the school during the day. At Clayton High School, most students take advantage of the backpack policy and rely on their backpacks to function as a locker. Many CHS students are not able to locate their locker in the school.  

However, some students do choose to use their lockers. According to freshman Kaitlin Bates, her locker is useful and helpful.

“My locker is very convenient given that my backpack is pretty small. I use it before school, during lunch, and after school.” Bates said. According to Bates, carrying a backpack can get heavy and uncomfortable. Along with Bates, another freshman, Adelaide Griffey, agrees.

“Carrying backpacks is convenient, but the load can become super heavy,”she said.

Conversely from Bates and Griffey, many students do not use their lockers, arguing that their locker is located in an inconvenient location, or that they do not have enough time in between classes. Sophomore Regan Wade often avoids her locker.

“I have no clue where my locker is located, and even if I did, I would not use it,” she said. “I do not have enough time in between classes and before and after school to visit my locker”. Along with Wade, many CHS students avoid their locker due to inconvenience and lack of time between each class to stop at a locker.

Many CHS students complain due to pain from their heavy backpacks. This allows many students to conclude visiting a locker 2-3 times a day would be reasonable. This would allow students to leave some binders in their lockers while taking the ones out for their use in following classes.

If so many people say they suffer from back pain, then why do CHS students avoid their lockers?

As many have said, inconvenience and location can simply answer the question above. Through an emailed survey given to CHS students, they were able to express their opinions on lockers and backpack issues. CHS students left comments on ways to fix the back pain issue so many students suffer from, without making students visit their lockers. Sophomore Abigail Mann suggested that teachers encourage students to empty out papers and handouts once a unit has been completed. Mann thinks that taking out the papers and creating a filing system at home will eliminate weight, and ultimately help the students’ back pain issues.

On average, CHS students weighed in their backpacks at about fifteen to twenty pounds. The interviewed students all came under the same consensus that the weight came from heavy binders and the bulky Chromebooks. Chromebooks are vital in each class, considering CHS students use them every day. However, if CHS students applied Abby Mann’s ideas at home, students could lighten the load they carry throughout the day.

However, more than just taking weight out of binders, the CHS community and the teachers need to promote the use of lockers because the heavy backpacks students are lugging on their backs day in and out cause issues to the students. Many students suffer from back pain due unnecessary weight, which could easily be fixed with supporting the use of lockers and giving students the choice to leave old papers at home.