BY KAYLA GATES
It’s no secret that rolling backpacks are an unwelcome sight at Cooper City High School, seemingly disliked by both students and administration. However, these bags offer various benefits for those in unique situations and often receive more resentment than they deserve.
Excessively heavy backpacks have become an increasing problem in today’s society. Doctors and physical therapists recommend that kids carry no more than 10 to 15 percent of their body weight in their bags, but many carry a lot more than that.
The average shoulder bag can cause issues such as neck and back pain if worn improperly. This could be prevented by taking the load off one’s back and putting it into a rolling backpack.
A lack of lockers emphasizes this issue in many schools. Stopping at a specific location between every class has become impractical for larger campuses. Consequently, students are forced to carry around numerous textbooks and folders all day long. These overly heavy bags can have long-term effects on one’s back.
According to Australian politician Luke Simpkins, children are at risk of irreversible health conditions because they are carrying such heavy loads, with increasing reports of spinal abnormalities and scoliosis in Britain and Ireland.
One of the many benefits of utilizing a rolling backpack is that they are better for one’s health. The average shoulder bag can cause issues such as neck and back pain if worn improperly. This could be prevented by taking the load off one’s back and putting it into a rolling backpack.
The county discourages the use of these bags for obvious reasons. Safety and convenience are major concerns when it comes to walking through crowded areas. Rolling backpacks are kicked around and tripped over on campus. However, the many benefits do not outweigh the amount of backlash rolling backpacks receive from the student body. Most are unable to see the clear benefits associated with these bags.
Students often see a rolling backpack as an obstruction when navigating the busy hallways. Opponents also point to the numerous staircases within Cooper City High School, an obstacle almost impossible to avoid on a daily basis. Ultimately, hate is placed upon people who have no other choice.
This is the case for freshman Maya Metsch, who started bringing a rolling backpack to school this year. Metsch was diagnosed with scoliosis and underwent surgery this summer to correct the damage to her spine. During her recovery, she isn’t allowed to carry weight, especially on her back. Unable to use a traditional bag, Metsch turned to a rolling backpack. However, the lack of acceptance among her peers proves to be a daily struggle.
Metsch wishes her fellow classmates would be more accepting of her bag, an issue she didn’t account for coming into high school.
“It’s annoying because people trip over your bag,” Metsch said. “People aren’t patient with rolling backpacks, and I know that from experience.”
Metsch wishes her fellow classmates would be more accepting of her bag, an issue she didn’t account for coming into high school. Her situation is not unusual, as there are other students in similar situations.
“If someone has a rolling backpack for a medical purpose, don’t judge them,” Metsch added.
Although they receive a lot of hate, there are those who understand the importance of these bags. Senior Halie Parnell acknowledges the problems associated with carrying a rolling backpack but also views them as an asset. Unlike many of her peers, she is able to look past their downsides in particular instances.
“I think using them is perfectly fine since they are very helpful,” Parnell said. “People with medical issues often need them, which everyone should know.”
While students are quick to judge rolling backpacks, this is most likely due to a lack of understanding on their part. If everyone was more aware of their specific uses, students owning them might feel more comfortable and ready to use them.
Whether it’s for medical purposes or just to reap the benefits of the bag, a student’s use of a rolling backpack should not be criticized. Rolling backpacks are extremely helpful for those preventing or healing from an injury, despite their drawbacks. It is crucial that students become more open-minded about the issues others face, and the actions they must take as a result.
Photo curtesy of Nao Okawa