Tracy Talks: Student health a weighty topic for local schools
by Anne Marie Fuller
May 08, 2014 | 4175 views | 3 3 comments | 108 108 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Looking for a great workout? Try carrying a kid’s backpack around all day. The amount of weight our children have to bear is insane. Depending on the child, the weight of the backpack can average upward of one third of the child’s weight. I know the topic of lockers in schools in not a new subject, but remind me again just why they were removed.

“One of the top issues in the district is student safety,” Joel Danoy, communications specialist for Tracy Unified School District, said recently, “removing the opportunity to hide weapons or drugs. This is not something that is unique to TUSD. This is the trend in education in California.”

Newer schools, such as Kimball High School, did not incorporate lockers while under construction. Other long-standing schools, such as Tracy High School, had their lockers removed during school renovations. Is this heavy textbook-carrying trend here to stay?

“In the long term, textbooks are being phased out,” Danoy said, adding, “In five to 10 years, the heavy bags will be a thing of the past. Within the next three years, the school district will be implementing more technology. Students will be using tablets more than textbooks. There are also going to be about 3,000 computers put in the schools this summer that will support the new math adoption. Each school will also get either a new computer lab or their current lab will be updated for the 2014-15 school year.”

I can still recall my high school locker; I think the boring tan-taupe color was standard. Back in my day, lockers served as more than just a dumping-off place for textbooks. They were the place to meet before school and in between periods. Boyfriend pictures and fashion trends were displayed on the inside door, and handwritten notes were dropped through the slats. Chitchat about who was going steady, which couple just broke up and all the regular high school gossip were all done under cover of the clang of a shutting locker door.

• Anne Marie Fuller, National Mrs. Beauties of the Nation and Mrs. California BOTN, is the host of “Helpful Hints with Anne Marie” on Channel 26. Contact her at

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May 09, 2014
Real questions for Tracy schools are why does it take another 5 to 10 years? Why is the solution offered either a "new or updated computer lab"?

Really? there are schools in Tracy without computer labs?

Tracy schools are replacing one outdated concept with another. Computer labs will soon be a thing of the past. Textbooks should already be gone and done.

This is what happens when an organization moves at the speed of government.
May 09, 2014
Where is all this money coming from to put in 3,000 computers and give every student a tablet??? I know - free money from the government! AND the new bond that is to renovate "old" schools. So how many teachers are being removed since they will no longer be needed... the computer will be teaching our children. All that will be needed is an IT person to keep the computers running.

As to heavy backpacks... simple solution. Keep the student copy of the text at home and use the classroom text while at school. Saves wear and tear on student and books.

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