Students exercised their teenage right to bear memes after a school banned backpacks in response to a 13-year-old girl bringing a gun to campus.
Viral TikTok videos show students in Idaho carrying textbooks and supplies in miscellaneous household items like laundry baskets, coolers, strollers, toboggans, traffic cones, popcorn machines, and microwaves.
Idaho’s Jefferson School District enacted the ban following the discovery of a gun in a girl’s backpack at Rigby Middle School, four months after a shooting at the same school in May left three injured.
Rigby Middle School began trending after TikTok user @miriam_gilmore_ posted a pair of videos from the school campus that have been seen more than 9 million times,
“My school banned backpacks yesterday, so this happened… Seriously, how does this work? “ she said against a montage of some of the more bizarre items.
“Some kid brought a gun to school on Thursday and it hasn’t even been 4 months since our last school shooting,” she added in the caption.
The videos have garnered a large reaction, with one commenter saying of the school’s policy: “America will do anything but ban guns”.
In May, a sixth-grader shot two students and a school custodian at Rigby Middle School. The child was disarmed by teacher Krista Gneiting, who hugged and consoled the girl until police arrived.
The injured students survived. Police said the girl bought the gun in her backpack. Parents wanted protective measures like metal detectors put in place.
After the latest incident, Jefferson School District banned backpacks at two middle schools and two high schools in his district.
The gun was found after a student reported a girl struggling emotionally in a bathroom. A staff member went to check and found the girl with the firearm in a backpack, according to a letter sent to school parents.
“Effective immediately, backpacks will no longer be allowed at Rigby Middle School, Farnsworth Middle School, and both Rigby and Jefferson High Schools,” Jefferson School District Superintendent Chad Martin wrote in the letter.
“We ask our parents to partner with us in keeping all of our students safe.”
Concerned parent Megan Humble told East Idaho News that the backpack ban was a reactionary decision and wanted more proactive measures in place.
“I’m just a mom who is upset, a mom who cares and a mom who is open-minded to whatever solutions are effective,” Humble says. “They need to take proactive measures to prevent this from happening … and if metal detectors are the answer, (the district) has my full support.”
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