Purses Banned

By: Shane Symolon Email
By: Shane Symolon Email

Distractions in the classroom have led one valley middle school to ban all bags, even purses, from classrooms. Some parents say this is a bad idea, because young women need to be able to carry their feminine hygiene products.

Wilbur Pence Middle School teacher Stacie Holzberger says that bags and purses carrying electronic toys and phones were getting in the way of learning.

"Teachers were having a problem getting to students, to help with their learning. The pocketbooks were in the way. The bookbags were cluttering up to floor, and we weren't able to get to students," says Holzberger.

So all bags were banned, even smaller purses. That's when mother Jennifer Alcombright says the school went too far. She says girls need to be able to carry around their feminine products.

"If the girls who are texting on their cellphones are still violating that rule, they need to be reprimanded for that. They're violating a rule, but for the girls who are using it for the proper reason, aren't breaking any rules, and they shouldn't be punished," says Alcombright.

The school says this rule is nothing new. Mary Shifflett says there will soon bathroom vending machines that will provide the products girls would have had in their purses.

"I'm also telling students that if they are very concerned about that, then getting a little pencil zip case and carrying that is a solution, and carrying that is a very private thing you carry your notebook anyway," says Shifflett.

Alcombright says it doesn't solve the problem for young women in the classroom.

"To me, that's a violation of her privacy. I think it's more discrete and I think it's her right to have a small handbag for a medical necessity. This is a medical necessity," says Alcombright.

The school says they haven't had too many issues with the new rule since it went into effect.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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