Posted: 12:00 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013

Little Miami Schools

High school, junior high students no longer carry backpacks

New rule designed to improve classroom safety

By Lisa Knodel

Contributing Writer

HAMILTON TWP. – Little Miami students are checking their baggage at the door — their locker doors — in compliance with a new safety measure.

For the 2013-14 school year, students at Little Miami High School and Little Miami Junior High School are permitted to carry their backpacks to and from school each day, but these bags must now be stowed in their locker for the duration of the school day and may not be carried into class.

“Many academic classes have 35 students in the classroom. It is very difficult to move around safely under normal everyday learning activities. Having backpacks on the floor of these classrooms during an emergency could create a dangerous situation that we now can easily avoid,” LMJH Principal Ryan Cherry explained.

This rule change was implemented after district staff attended a school safety training session provided by the district’s School Resource Officer Shane Brandenburg and Det. Paul Bailey of the Hamilton Twp. Police Department.

District officials said Little Miami staff members review school safety measures annually in order to provide students with a safe learning environment. This safety review includes conducting drills, updating safety procedures and attending training sessions like those led by Brandenburg and Bailey.

LMHS Principal Cathy Trevathan said the new rule improves student health and school safety by decreasing the chance of something dangerous being brought to class and makes evacuation easier.

“With so many backpacks on the floor, it became a safety issue. We also had teachers that would trip over backpacks while they were teaching,” she explained. “There have been back issues for students that carry around a heavy backpack all day, especially if it was very heavy and hanging off of one shoulder.”

In a letter sent to students before the start of the school year, Trevathan, LMHS Associate Principal Brian Dalton and Cherry said they realized the new backpack procedure would be an adjustment for many students, but they believed it was important to follow the recommendations of law enforcement in making decisions on student safety.

Cherry said his students have adapted easily to the change.

“Most of our students have all their academic classes in the same hallway as their locker. They can get to their locker between most classes, so not having a backpack has not been a problem,” he said.

“Students are already getting used to the change,” added Trevathan. “It will take some time, and we will continue to monitor the situation. Change is always difficult, but this new rule is definitely in the best interest of the students.”


The latest news videos