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Dalhart Intermediate School will no longer allow students to carry backpacks

Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, students at Dalhart Intermediate School will no longer be allowed to carry backpacks. Administration officials have now classified backs as a "safety hazard."

"We made this decision after careful consideration of the pros and cons of backpacks.

"Backpacks became a safety hazard (tripping), and were bringing in bugs (lice and cockroaches). We do not use our lockers for a couple of reasons - 1. We do not have security cameras in our hallways. In the past, we have had issues with items being stolen from lockers and bullying/harassment notes being left in lockers. 2. We lost instructional time during transitions due to students needing to go to their lockers for materials," principal Misty Heiskell said.

Heiskell went on to explain the decision was also based on the fact that the school no longer issues homework to students.

"DIS does not send homework (besides asking students to read at home for 20 minutes) unless a student didn’t finish a class assignment. Our textbooks are consumable, so the pages tear out; therefore, students will not be taking textbooks home.

"Students will have 2 folders - a Tuesday folder that goes home on Tuesday’s, and a homework folder - in the event they need to finish some work at home. Students will be allowed to take a library book home as well. We do not feel that 2 folders and a library book (possibly a lunch box) are too much for students to carry.

"This year, we have purchased each student a tub which will hold their folders, supplies, and library books. These tubs will rotate with the students from class to class and be stored in homerooms at the end of each day.

"Students may bring a pair of tennis shoes to leave at the school for PE if they choose to," Heiskell said.

Reactions from parents posted on the DIS Facebook page concerning the new rule were mostly negative.

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