Backpack flinging not advised

Is there a backpack flinging outbreak at Miller Middle School?

I recently came along an interesting little tidbit online in the announcements section of the school.

It’s one of the best – and funniest – school announcements I’ve read here at the T-R. It had to do with school safety and trying to keep students from flinging their backpacks outside of Miller.

Here is an excerpt of the announcement the school posted on its website.

“There is an Olympic event called the Hammer Throw. Occasionally a student will be practicing this event in front of the school. They’ll be swinging their backpack around and launching it across the school yard. This is not a safe choice. Avoid hammer throw practice while at Miller. See your track coaches if you feel like you should be on your way to Rio in 2016.”

Now, can you see why this caught my attention?

I’ve been to Miller a few times this school year and have yet to see this backpack throw in action. Just the fact that it has happened enough at Miller where they had to put it in the announcements makes it kind of amusing to me.

I couldn’t let the issue rest so I had to email MIller Principal Jacy Large to dig up more information. Large and Associate Principal Kyle Young had some fun with my questions. They said there have been no injuries as a result of flying bags but had a four-part answer to my question as far is if flying bags are a problem at Miller. Here it is:

1. From time to time my associate principal Mr. Young and myself seem to receive calls from parents that student’s bags are missing. After review of camera footage we notice the student was swinging their bag goofing around and forgot about it.

2. Students then like to use their bag as an extension of their arm to tag someone while running around and must be told no tag and no, the bag is not to be used as such.

3. At this age we find it more common than not throwing another person’s bag is a flirting method with girls and boys. Instead of a simple brush on the shoulder or arm and blush, they sneak the person’s bag and “launch-it”

4. Lastly, students must be so excited at the end of the day they want to launch their bag in relief. However, I fear most of them have homework yet inside, so possibly they are hoping to have the homework disappear if “launched.”

I guess I got more than I bargained for but they did sum up their response by essentially saying middle school students will be middle school students and act this way.

“The other neat thing is students at this age are very intelligent,” Large said. “We enjoy the humor they have and realize all middle school students at some point or another frequently test their boundaries and limitations. Just ask their parents.”

Large had one final comment about throwing things.

“We remind students if they want to throw an academic-related item, they can throw their graduation cap four years from now,” Large said.

Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or