I think we should do something about the homework load or how we have to carry it around. I have two big binders and one small binder for CCV plus three textbooks for classes in my backpack which is hurting my shoulders and back. Two of the textbooks are barely being used so I think if we don’t need them then we should be able to leave them at school. Everyday I have to carry a lot of stuff and it is really causing a lot of pain physically to my body.
According to Charnicia E. Huggins, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Touro College of Pharmacy, “more than 10,000 annual visits to the doctor’s office or emergency room by school-aged children are backpack-related,” and “the children toted about 14 percent of their body weight on their backs each day….”
The crazy thing is that, “The bags generally became heavier as the children grew older. The lightest-weight bag was less than 2 kg (4.4 lbs) and the heaviest was 13.5 kilograms (30 lbs).”
“Students whose backpacks weighed more than 14 percent of their body weight, however, often complained of experiencing pain in their back, neck and shoulders.”
I think that schools don’t really think about weight and how much pressure it puts on our bodies.
I got a few U32 students to volunteer to have their bag/backpacks weighed and then I sent a survey to those students to get their opinion.
U32 Students: Weight of bag/backpacks
Dylan Clayton, 14lb; Iris Gardner, 14lb;
Willa Lane, 6.6lb — 9.4lb (with Chromebook); Liam Judge, 10lb;
Hannah Brown, 17.5lb; Benjamin Parrotte, 7.5lb;
Dana Griffin, 30lb (with both bags everyday)
Five of the six students thought we are getting too much homework, that homework is the reason our bags are so heavy, and that our bags cause pain to our bodies, at least sometimes.
What are the classes that causes the homework load?
“Pretty much all my classes except strength and jewelry are weighing me down. Not only is it the homework, but my binders. I even started taking only the binders I needed. But even that weighs me down and hurts my arms. Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation health wise in my opinion.”
“Principles of coaching.”
“They’re all the same.”
“Math, or Social Studies.”
In students’ opinion, what can teachers and staff do better to help decrease our shoulder and back pains from our bags?
“Assign less homework or not make us take our huge textbooks back and forth between school and home.”
“I think the teachers and staff could give us less and less homework. Maybe electronic homework, or just very little paper homework. Or no homework at all. Vermont has a high record of scoliosis, and homework is just helping the numbers go high.”
“Don’t give out books.”
“Use less materials.”
“Give us more online assignments.”
Let’s hope our teachers think about this as they load us with work.