School mandated clear PVC backpacks???? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 08-30-2012, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sure not if this is the right place for this but....

 

 

So my son started Kindergarten this week & I found out that the school district requires clear backpacks...when I shopped for a clear backpack they appear to all be made of PVC.  I am shocked (well not so much) that they are requiring children to use a toxic material 5 days a week when BPA-free/phthalate-free children products are now being mandated.

 

I ensure that little to no PVC come into our home.  Why on earth would I allow my child to come in contact with PVC daily?  Am I going to be that parent that causes a big to-do at PTO meetings?  Not only is my kid not going to use a PVC laden backpack, I don't think any kid should be carrying them.

 

My son's school goes up to 6th grade & I guess there is a concern with some of the older kids bringing contraband to school.  Like seriously, a kid couldn't find a way to bring something "bad" to school?

 

How can I best handle this without becoming a nuisance parent?


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#2 of 27 Old 08-30-2012, 08:02 AM
 
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My very first thought is that this is an attempt to prevent weapons from coming into the school. There are scary stories about children bringing knives and handguns into schools. 

 

I would contact the school principal and find out the purpose of the policy. Then I'd ask for some rationale eg. how often have they encountered the problem in the past, what other avenues did they consider before deciding on this policy, was it raised at parent council meetings last year and if so, was there general agreement that this was the best way to deal with it, what other steps are they taking to deal with this kind of problem (awareness campaigns, random bag and locker searches, weapon detection systems at the doors.....there's an escalating level of intrusiveness but there's also associated expenses). 

 

If you are unsatisfied with the response you get, then I'd figure out what alternatives are agreeable to you and take those suggestions to the school. Maybe parents who object to the clear backpack could agree to have the bags searched. 

 

BTW, I've never seen a clear backpack but I haven't done any back-to-school shopping this year. 

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#3 of 27 Old 08-30-2012, 08:06 AM
 
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if it helps I did find this... http://www.amazon.com/K-Cliffs-Backpack-School-Daypack-Casual/dp/B0015UIPO2


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#4 of 27 Old 08-30-2012, 08:07 AM
 
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wait thats not the right one???


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#5 of 27 Old 08-30-2012, 08:28 AM
 
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We have some clear dry-bags for canoeing and kayaking that are made from polyurethane laminated to nylon. They're pricey (and they have the submersible waterproof features which a kindergartener certainly wouldn't need) but PVC-free clear packs certainly do exist. You may just have to hunt around on-line rather than in stores.

 

 Here's the kind we have.

 

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#6 of 27 Old 08-30-2012, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

We have some clear dry-bags for canoeing and kayaking that are made from polyurethane laminated to nylon. They're pricey (and they have the submersible waterproof features which a kindergartener certainly wouldn't need) but PVC-free clear packs certainly do exist. You may just have to hunt around on-line rather than in stores.

 

 Here's the kind we have.

 

Miranda

Yikes!  That's nearly $100 though....not completely out of the question but pretty pricey for a kid.


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#7 of 27 Old 08-30-2012, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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if it helps I did find this... http://www.amazon.com/K-Cliffs-Backpack-School-Daypack-Casual/dp/B0015UIPO2

That's made of PVC....if you know of another one please post!


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#8 of 27 Old 08-30-2012, 09:12 AM
 
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Would mesh be an option?  You could still see into it, but it's not PVC.  http://www.amazon.com/Jansport-Mesh-Back-Pack-Navy/dp/B0018JIXOW/ref=sr_1_10?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1346343034&sr=1-10&keywords=clear+backpack
 


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#9 of 27 Old 08-30-2012, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, it's for safety & the school goes up to 6th grade....apparently 6th graders are dangerous these days.

 

Clear backpacks are pretty common & many of them are specifically made for kids which means that PVC products are being made for kids.  Sickening.  I' m going to look into a mesh one & see if that works.

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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

My very first thought is that this is an attempt to prevent weapons from coming into the school. There are scary stories about children bringing knives and handguns into schools. 

 

I would contact the school principal and find out the purpose of the policy. Then I'd ask for some rationale eg. how often have they encountered the problem in the past, what other avenues did they consider before deciding on this policy, was it raised at parent council meetings last year and if so, was there general agreement that this was the best way to deal with it, what other steps are they taking to deal with this kind of problem (awareness campaigns, random bag and locker searches, weapon detection systems at the doors.....there's an escalating level of intrusiveness but there's also associated expenses). 

 

If you are unsatisfied with the response you get, then I'd figure out what alternatives are agreeable to you and take those suggestions to the school. Maybe parents who object to the clear backpack could agree to have the bags searched. 

 

BTW, I've never seen a clear backpack but I haven't done any back-to-school shopping this year. 


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#10 of 27 Old 08-30-2012, 11:27 AM
 
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Yes, it's for safety & the school goes up to 6th grade....apparently 6th graders are dangerous these days.

 

Clear backpacks are pretty common & many of them are specifically made for kids which means that PVC products are being made for kids.  Sickening.  I' m going to look into a mesh one & see if that works.

 

It must be a regional thing. I've got a middle and high schooler and have never seen a full-sized transparent backpack. DD and I just went to 3 different shops looking for a new one too. I've only seen the little transparant kid purse types in stores.

 

You could make a complaint about the cost. Some states have laws about what you can require from a public school student.


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#11 of 27 Old 08-30-2012, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, we can get mesh & Jansport is PVC-free!

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Would mesh be an option?  You could still see into it, but it's not PVC.  http://www.amazon.com/Jansport-Mesh-Back-Pack-Navy/dp/B0018JIXOW/ref=sr_1_10?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1346343034&sr=1-10&keywords=clear+backpack
 


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#12 of 27 Old 08-30-2012, 02:10 PM
 
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Awesome!!!  So glad you found a solution!!  We're working to get our home toxin-free, too, so I can imagine how frustrating that would be. 
 


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#13 of 27 Old 08-30-2012, 02:34 PM
 
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I'm glad you found a solution too. Still think it's a ridiculous thing for a school to require. I mean, the mesh is a good alternative until it rains!


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#14 of 27 Old 08-30-2012, 07:23 PM
 
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Okay, here's a thought, and please don't freak out about it............even if you go thru all the trouble of finding a 'safe' backpack for your kid,it may not really won't matter in the long run.......first off, he/she will only wear it on the bus...the rest of the time it stays on a hook or in a cubbie...(next to 30 other toxic bags)....so....while it may not be such a big deal what he brings, he will be exposed to major toxins in every class he enters............hope this made sense.........


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#15 of 27 Old 08-31-2012, 04:12 AM
 
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Okay, here's a thought, and please don't freak out about it............even if you go thru all the trouble of finding a 'safe' backpack for your kid,it may not really won't matter in the long run.......first off, he/she will only wear it on the bus...the rest of the time it stays on a hook or in a cubbie...(next to 30 other toxic bags)....so....while it may not be such a big deal what he brings, he will be exposed to major toxins in every class he enters............hope this made sense.........

...and in the bag will sit the child's lunch all morning.

My kids suck on the straps of their backpacks when bored or anxious.

I'm glad you found a solution, OP.
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#16 of 27 Old 09-01-2012, 05:55 AM
 
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I'm glad you found a solution too. Still think it's a ridiculous thing for a school to require. I mean, the mesh is a good alternative until it rains!

Seriously?!!!

 

almost 35 states require this in high violence neighborhood school. Rand Corporation has done research and discovered it HAS had an impact on the amount of violence.

 

i consider it a privilege having the choice not to send my dd to such a school where ambulances are called as arms get broken in 6th grade.

 

i dont see why its a big deal. i see many teenagers carrying pvc purses and backpack purses out of choice. almost all those who allow PVC also allow the mesh.

 

in fact nowadays many employers are also making this same requirement.


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#17 of 27 Old 09-01-2012, 06:05 AM
 
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Seriously?!!!

almost 35 states require this in high violence neighborhood school. Rand Corporation has done research and discovered it HAS had an impact on the amount of violence.

i consider it a privilege having the choice not to send my dd to such a school where ambulances are called as arms get broken in 6th grade.

i dont see why its a big deal. i see many teenagers carrying pvc purses and backpack purses out of choice. almost all those who allow PVC also allow the mesh.

in fact nowadays many employers are also making this same requirement.

Employers are making the same requirement? What does that say about our society?
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#18 of 27 Old 09-01-2012, 06:43 AM
 
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Employers are making the same requirement? What does that say about our society?

that says 'thou shalt not steal'. with employers its not so much about weapons. its more about stealing. 

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#19 of 27 Old 09-01-2012, 07:17 AM
 
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that says 'thou shalt not steal'. with employers its not so much about weapons. its more about stealing. 

I understand. I just think it's a sad commentary on our society that weapons in schools and employee theft are so commonplace.
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#20 of 27 Old 09-01-2012, 07:54 AM
 
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Seriously?!!!

 

almost 35 states require this in high violence neighborhood school. Rand Corporation has done research and discovered it HAS had an impact on the amount of violence.

 

i consider it a privilege having the choice not to send my dd to such a school where ambulances are called as arms get broken in 6th grade.

 

i dont see why its a big deal. i see many teenagers carrying pvc purses and backpack purses out of choice. almost all those who allow PVC also allow the mesh.

 

in fact nowadays many employers are also making this same requirement.

 

Again, must be regional. I live in the 7th or 8th largest city in the U.S.A and I've never seen it. My eldest attended an inner city high school for a couple years in the 3rd largest school district in the country. Again, no such requirements that I ever saw. I've never heard of employees having to carry PVC purses either. The schools my kids have been in use different methods that seem to work quite well. 

 

The more people are treated as untrustworthy, the more untrustworthy they become. When we tell our children, you are too violent to be trusted, that's what they will grow-up to be. Better to get them and their communities invested in a positive environment.

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#21 of 27 Old 09-01-2012, 09:38 AM
 
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I understand. I just think it's a sad commentary on our society that weapons in schools and employee theft are so commonplace.

It's not just our society - violence in schools and the workplace has happened around the world.
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#22 of 27 Old 09-01-2012, 11:19 AM
 
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It's not just our society - violence in schools and the workplace has happened around the world.

 

Well, it's certainly not commonplace where I live. I can't imagine what the attitude of distrust and fear is doing to children. Very sad.

 

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#23 of 27 Old 09-01-2012, 11:53 AM
 
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wow, though, seriously, is this a big problem? Sorry if this is naive but I'm in the UK and it is mind blowing to me that a little kids school would need to ask the kids to bring stuff in in clear bags...I grew up in inner city london, and my parents still live there (and my mum teaches in a post-11 school in a high-crime area) and we have NOTHING like this. Weapons being brought to school? Elementary school? Really?

 

I'd say people are generally more fearful nowadays, but certainly for the UK, if you look at the statistics that's not based on actual increased risk, actually we are safer than we have ever been. I have to be completely honest, I think the media has a lot to answer for. And one of my German friends laughs at how fearful and overprotective we are in the UK of our kids...


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#24 of 27 Old 09-01-2012, 12:24 PM
 
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wow, though, seriously, is this a big problem? Sorry if this is naive but I'm in the UK and it is mind blowing to me that a little kids school would need to ask the kids to bring stuff in in clear bags...I grew up in inner city london, and my parents still live there (and my mum teaches in a post-11 school in a high-crime area) and we have NOTHING like this. Weapons being brought to school? Elementary school? Really?

 

I'd say people are generally more fearful nowadays, but certainly for the UK, if you look at the statistics that's not based on actual increased risk, actually we are safer than we have ever been. I have to be completely honest, I think the media has a lot to answer for. And one of my German friends laughs at how fearful and overprotective we are in the UK of our kids...

 

It's absolutely media driven in the U.S. If you look at the statistics, child abduction in the U.S. has actually gone down but media stories of abduction have increased by hundreds of percents. It makes it FEEL like children are snatched left and right but it's simply not the case. Statistically, children are far safer in school than they are riding in the car to get there. It's the media that pushes the idea that our kids are at risk and we gobble it up. There are so many ironies in our society.... parents who complain about car seats when we KNOW that kids are at high risk for injury and freak out when they want to walk a block to the store for a soda.

 

I don't think this response is so wide spread or else there would be far more people chiming in with ideas for where they got such backpacks. Seems most people are surprised by it. Even if states have zero tolerance rules on the books, it's still very select schools that are going to these extremes.


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#25 of 27 Old 09-01-2012, 06:44 PM
 
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Again, must be regional. I live in the 7th or 8th largest city in the U.S.A and I've never seen it. My eldest attended an inner city high school for a couple years in the 3rd largest school district in the country. Again, no such requirements that I ever saw. I've never heard of employees having to carry PVC purses either. The schools my kids have been in use different methods that seem to work quite well. 

 

The more people are treated as untrustworthy, the more untrustworthy they become. When we tell our children, you are too violent to be trusted, that's what they will grow-up to be. Better to get them and their communities invested in a positive environment.

Agreed. I live in the largest city in the US and I have never--literally, never--seen a child with a clear backpack.

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#26 of 27 Old 09-02-2012, 06:54 AM
 
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I haven't either, though, I did a news search and apparently some schools in my area did require clear backpacks, at least at some point. If I were to guess, I imagine it's something schools try because it's thought to be an easy solution to a complicated problem. I would be very, very surprised if implementing clear backpacks did anything to reduce weapons, drugs or theft from schools. I mean, presumably kids are allowed to store their PE clothes or sweatshirts in their clear backpacks, right? Even books could conceal most things mpthat a child wishes to hide. It's just silly, IMO. And, I agree that the negative consequences of this type of policy are rather huge. Imagine a parent of a 5 year old explaining why she/he needs a clear backpack. greensad.gif

 

I think this is school districts with very limited resources feeling like they have to do something. Sometimes, maybe this is all they can manage. I guess if they felt they needed to do this for some schools, I'd prefer they did it for all -- the implications of some schools in the district needing this and others not are terrible. 

 

On a positive note -- as a parent, I can really see the advantages of a clear backpack. I'd be great to see that apple rotting in the bottom of the bag and imagine the hours saved searching for that sweatshirt, water bottle, permission slip. Maybe I'll get DC a mesh bag. ROTFLMAO.gif

 

OP, I'm glad you found a mesh bag and a hope your LO has a wonderful first week of school!!


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#27 of 27 Old 09-03-2012, 01:37 PM
 
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I hadn't heard of this either so did a news search, too. Nothing turned up for my city. I live in the southwest in a city where the drug war in Mexico often spills over.

I'm curious if this is the beginning of a new trend.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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