Saturday, January 22, 2011

Backpack bill

Democratic Assemblyman Dennis H. Gabryszak has your kid's back. At least he wants to lighten the load on their back, as laid out by a bill (AB 6857) he has reintroduced that would study the effects of heavy backpacks on elementary school students.
The bill's memo suggests that some kids are carrying backpacks that weigh 40 pounds or more, and can contain "textbooks, binders, calculators, personal computers, lunches, a change of clothing, sports equipment and more." (Seems like that student is a hungry fashion conscious geek jock.)
Citing a 1999 study that declared "3,400 pupils between 5 and 14 years of age, inclusive, sought treatment in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to backpacks or book bags," Gabryszak argues that we need to study whether this trend is occurring in New York too.
Interestingly enough, the bill doesn't propose lowering the weight in backpacks while the study is being conducted. Also, the assemblyman doesn't offer any suggestions about how to solve the problem (if it exists at all).

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