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Backpack Checks at Rialto High School

On Friday, April 1, Rialto High School principal Dr. Caroline Sweeney made a campus-wide announcement stating that on Monday, April 4, 2022, everyone who walks in through the Great Hall will get their backpack checked in regards to the confetti eggs that students cracked on campus that week.

Immediately students got upset.

On Monday, as I walked into the Great Hall, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But it all seemed normal, just a quick peek into my backpack, not even checking the smaller pocket.

Chris Suba, one of Rialto High School’s custodians, said that the backpack checks help a lot in minimizing the confetti mess left by students.

But, junior Vanessa Mendez says the backpack checks are, “ineffective, because there are other ways that students could sneak in eggs.” She elaborates by saying that students could stuff their sweater pockets with eggs, and so she doesn’t see how backpack checks could help.

Dr. Sweeney says that with the backpack checks in place, they’ve already confiscated many eggs, which helps minimize littering on campus.

It seems as if the backpack checks were put in place to help keep the school clean, and from what I can see, it is working, in regards to the confetti eggs.

Junior Emily Bravo questioned the administration authorizing backpack checks to what went down a few months ago when shooting threats were happening. Dr. Sweeney responded by saying, “I know confetti eggs were being brought on campus, but I don’t necessarily know if guns are,” she adds, “when we do things, there’s a thing called reasonable suspicion.” If she knows there’s going to be a school shooting, a backpack check might be put in place to help prevent harm..

Luckily, on Friday, April 1 more than 50 students volunteered to clean up the campus which according to Suba is a huge help to the night cleaning crew.

Junior Vanessa Mendez says that she doesn’t mind if backpack checks are put in place “as long as you have nothing to hide, and as long as it’s a safety reason.” Vanessa does not believe this is a safety reason and points out that checking backpacks could be an invasion of privacy if they check too much.

However, Dr. Sweeney says she warned students about the backpack checks and tells students, “If you’re worried about me seeing something that’s private to yourself, either don’t carry it in a backpack, or make sure it doesn’t look like an egg.” She continues by saying they’re only looking for eggs and are not hoping to find anything else, but confetti, flour, or glitter eggs.

It seems like backpack checks are not going to be happening everyday. Dr. Sweeney just wants to make sure a pattern is in place if this were to happen again.

Remember knights, we have to be considerate of our school, and what we can do to maintain the cleanliness of our campus.

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