New Castle News

News Bloggers

May 3, 2014

Josh Drespling: ‘To carry’ in your backpack takes on a whole new meaning

NEW CASTLE — I've developed the most amazing idea!

It's so abundantly revolutionary that you may, at first, not grasp the genius of my sentiment. I hesitate to release such a wealth of elevated knowledge on the common folk of our community, but it must be done. I must spread the wealth of knowledge.

I propose that we immediately ban all backpacks from school! Yes, I said it. Bask in the glow of my intellectual supremacy.

If you couldn't detect the mountain of sarcasm in my voice you may be thinking, “What lunacy has this Drespling boy got in his head this time?” Who would contrive such an inane thought, let alone act upon it? However, this is exactly the action an elementary school in Monroeville has taken.

Following an incident where a 6-year-old boy took a loaded .45 caliber, semi-automatic hand gun to school, the school's administrative reaction was to ban backpacks for the remainder of the school year. This was their apparent attempt to ensure the safety of their staff and students. It is so clear that the backpack was the problem here and everybody knows backpacks will be much safer next September.

It is obvious the backpack was the aggressor and the catalyst in this particular situation. The backpack woke up especially early the day in question. He grabbed his crayons and pencils, some paper, and that one overdue library book. Last, but not least, he stuffed the loaded weapon deep inside one of those hidden interior pockets. The backpack thought that he would show the gun off to all his friends. He knew most of them would have never seen such a thing and would be in awe at his devil-may-care attitude, not to mention his bad boy image.

He would soon be the coolest backpack in the entire school. He was positive all the little girl backpacks would see how awesome he was. Hopefully, that lil' pink backpack he has had his eye on would finally notice that he exists.

He hoped he wouldn’t get into trouble. However, he figured his plan was air-tight. Who would believe it was he who devised this master plan? After all, he was just a lowly backpack made of an innocent hodge-podge of synthetic fabric, zippers, and snaps. No one in their right mind would ever suspect him of being such a diabolic fiend. The chances of him being found out were slim at best.

But alas, the master sleuths that could easily give Sherlock Homes a run for his money quickly discovered his reprehensible plan. The plan that he carefully laid and the blame that he fully expected to pin on a little boy, was foiled by some forward-thinking and intellectually-superior members of the school's administration.

Obviously, I am engaging in reductio ad absurdum, but the point still remains that the ultimate responsibility for such a situation does not lie with a backpack, but rather with the parents and community that surround this little boy.

There is apparently more to the back story of this incident. The media are reporting that the mother has been arrested on several charges and authorities are looking into the home life of the child. It is also being reported that the child is not the one who put the gun in the backpack and that he did the responsible thing in giving the gun to his teacher as soon as he discovered it in his backpack.

It seems as though this little boy had more common sense than the school officials he turned to. Maybe we should ban them. Perhaps a ban on parents would be more appropriate, but whatever the case, eliminating backpacks is not the solution to a much larger problem.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Bloggers
  • Church.jpg Gary Church: I tried to keep my cool, but if anyone didn't like my contribution to the party, I might have a meltdown
    Sometimes you get invited to an employee only luncheon. I recently went to one of these at the News office. There is only one rule, everyone must bring something. This is a little difficult for me, because I don't know how to cook anything.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Question-mark-scratch-head.jpg Tim Kolodziej: We’re swimming in information — and uncertainty

    “Who can you believe anymore?” I wish I had a nickel for every time someone has asked me that question. Let’s face it, there are no longer two sides to every story. In some cases, there are hundreds, if not thousands.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: "The Bachelorette" semi-live blog

    Here we go folks: “The Bachelorette” finale is under way and of course we’re being inundated with sweeping helicopter shots of beaches and exotic locations while Chris Harrison is telling us how dramatic this upcoming episode will be. Classic opening for “The Bachelorette,” as always.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Readers (a few anyway) respond on Alvarez

    Last week I asked readers to share their thoughts on what the Pirates should do with the struggling Pedro Alvarez and we’ll get to that in a minute. For some background, Alvarez has two years left on his deal and makes a modest salary of 4.25 million this season (modest in terms of baseball salaries as paying me 4.25 million dollars for anything would be gladly accepted). His salary will likely increase the next two seasons through arbitration. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: As you may have noticed, I'm not Lisa
    Surprise, surprise, surprise! The big cheese called me, and asked if I would mind if my blogs appeared on Monday, instead of on Tuesday. I had no problem with that.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drespling.jpg Josh Drespling: Time flies when you're growing up

    Where does the time go? Just a moment ago, it was Monday, and now here we sit at the opposite end of another week. Seems like a matter of seconds and this month has slipped off into oblivion. I swear I only blinked and spring had been stripped from our hands. I don't dare close my eyes for another moment’s rest or my whole life may disappear.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: Grab your sisters and your mothers, it's an ice cream 'convent'-ion
    To keep my nice figure, I like to go to Forbush's at least once a week. This is also my entertainment for the night.  We sit there for an hour or so, watching people. Last week, a group arrived that I had never seen before.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • johnnyswim.jpg Tim Kolodziej: What is your definition of The Dream?

    Johnnyswim. I know, I know. Me neither. I had no idea what that word meant until a couple of months ago, when a friend of mine on Twitter was absolutely gushing about a great concert he had just seen.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: Does "House of Cards" crumble or stand?

    The old Couch Potato has been methodically working my way through the hit Netflix series, “House of Cards,” over the past few weeks and let me just say, it’s pretty good. 

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: It was an uphill climb, but this driver was a real trooper

    It's always a tragedy when I have to cover a drowning for The News. I hope I never have to go to Kennedy Mills again for this purpose. It is located at the bottom of a twisty, turning hill on Frew Mill Road.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to authorize Speaker John Boehner to sue President Obama for allegedly overstepping his legal authority with the way he's handled Obamacare. Good call?

Yes. Obama's been overstepping his authority since day one in office. It's time he pay the piper.
No. The allegations are ridiculous and the law suit is a waste of time and tax payer money.
I don't know. I'm not a huge fan of Obama, but the suit seems a little extreme.
     View Results