Lemmon, Citing Childhood Trauma Bans Backpacks

Mia Gustavson, Features Writer

  If you walk through Pinewood halls on any normal day, you will see a wide range of backpacks of all patterns, colors, and styles. 

   It is easy to see that students love to use backpacks that will make their friends laugh. Many are jokingly covered in glitter or sequins with cartoon characters such as “Frozen” and “Looney Tunes.” However, starting next month, Upper Campus Principal Gabriel Lemmon is abolishing the use of all backpacks, claiming that they are too distracting.

   “When I was a young boy, I asked Santa Claus for a new Batman backpack,” Lemmon said. However, it got stuck in the chimney, caught on fire, burned down our house, and a few of the neighbors’ houses too. Backpacks with silly designs bring back memories of that Batman backpack. Sometimes, even plain backpacks remind me of the trauma. That is why I have made the decision to permanently ban backpacks, requiring students to find alternatives starting at the end of April.”

   “Anything-but-a-Backpack Day gave students a taste of what it will be like, and gave faculty an idea of what they will be dealing with. After seeing the students’ alternatives on Mar. 9, 2022, some teachers and even students have argued that with this change, there are more opportunities to bring distracting things to school. 

   However, Lemmon has insisted that a traffic cone, a microwave, and even a shopping cart are less disruptive than princesses and flashy logos once everyone gets used to them. 

   Senior Mia Pistelak is not so sure.

   “I brought a doll crib for “Anything-but-a-Backpack” Day, and not only was it more distracting than my usual backpack, it was much less practical and user-friendly,” Pistelak said.

   Most students said that they did not mind the inconvenience because it was fun to show off their creativity to their friends. Students lay on rolling suitcases and rode in a shopping cart with their friends during breaks.

   “In order for this to work, there will have to be rules,” Lemmon said. “For example, students are not allowed to bring pets to carry their books on campus or anything that can’t fit easily inside a classroom, like a refrigerator, a bulldozer, or a washing machine. Other than that, I am excited to see what the students can come up with.”