Photo illustration by Ridge Peterson ’21 | Students wearing backpacks like these can soon be considered a threat on high school campuses across the country.
By Will Gruwell ’21
Local Arizona high school is banning backpacks on campus following a long lockdown after an apparent gun threat that occurred on Oct. 9, 2019 at Douglas High School. There was an anonymous alert for a school shooting threat, endangering the lives of the hundreds of students attending the small high school. Nobody was ever injured from the threat, and the police responded almost immediately.
Douglas, Ariz. is located on the Mexican-American border and is a remote town. Douglas High had thought of initially implementing this rule previously, but had a lack of motivation to step forward and make the leap.
The high school’s district superintendent Ana Samaniego said, “We’ve been discussing the clear backpack idea for some time, I wanna say at least over a year not directly related to any one particular idea, but you know, pondering about the idea, no decision was ever made.”
Shortly after the school had received their first threat of a shooter on campus, it sparked the backpack ban to be placed into action.
On Brophy’s campus, it would affect student life in a different way. Michael Crossley ’21, commented on the idea of introducing the same concept to other high schools like Brophy. “Clear bags are an inconvenience to purchase, and a really unnecessary safety precaution to take towards gun violence.” Crossley said.
Brophy Security Guard Mr. John Buchanan said that Brophy has taken countless acts recently to ensure the safety of its students. Buchanan said that dean of students Austin Pidgeon ’09 and himself both attended “countless seminars put on by different FBI agents and police officers.” The seminars went over statistics, warning signs and more to help them be more aware of dangerous situations.
When asked if he thinks the ban on bags can help eliminate the threat of a school shooting, Joseph Agnone, a junior at Brophy College Preparatory was not convinced, “there are many other ways a school shooter can conceal a weapon besides a bag, although I do believe it is a step in the right direction. It gives me a sense of reaffirmation to know that schools and students alike are tackling this issue head on.”