Downtown Berkeley stores’ bag policies negatively impacts BHS

The local Target near Berkeley High School has become an extremely popular and loved spot for students to buy food and necessities after school. But for a few years now, the security guards have enforced a new rule of leaving your backpacks outside when wanting to enter the store, to prevent any shoplifting. “I think it could be a good rule, but could lead to a lot of problems such as other people stealing backpacks,” stated Dylan Dasgupta, a freshman at BHS. Target has now since gotten rid of that policy, but the question of whether or not it should come back is worth considering. Bringing back the backpack policy at Berkeley’s Target is a bad idea – it has upset the community, caused trouble for students, and has not successfully stopped shoplifting.

Looking at other aspects of this policy, it’s clear that most students can find another way to shoplift without their bags. “I have heard about people shoplifting at Target,” said Dasgupta, indicating that it is common for students to steal from this local Target.  “But lots of people also steal stuff without using their backpacks, like in other ways using their jackets or sleeves,” Dasgupta continued. Overall, the rule is not effective enough to justify the damage caused when students may have their  backpacks stolen or lose other belongings in the process.

“(The policy) is a good idea in theory,” said Dasgupta. “But maybe a better option is just keeping a better watch when the kids are inside the Target.” Dasgupta suggests a more sensible approach of maintaining better surveillance within the store rather than imposing restrictions on students’ personal belongings. While the idea of keeping students’ bags outside may seem like a good idea in theory, the execution of it is just clumsy and unwanted. 

In order to keep everyone happy and also safe, there needs to be a middle ground between keeping things secure and making it easy for students to shop. Considering the dislike among the community and the troubles it causes for students, bringing back this system would do more harm than good, making it clear that Target should steer clear of reinforcing this protocol.