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School: 'Huge' purses a safety hazard

EAST PEORIA, Ill., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Girls at an Illinois high school have been banned from carrying purses because officials say they have become so large, they are a safety hazard.

The ban, approved by the East Peoria Community High School board in December, replaces an earlier compromise, the Peoria Journal Star reports. Staffers say a rule limiting purse size to no bigger than a single sheet of paper simply did not work.

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"Girls' purses have become so huge it was difficult for teachers to walk up and down aisles of the classroom," Robin Goff, dean of students, said Friday. "Teachers and students were tripping in the aisles. It had become a fire hazard, too."

Beginning Monday, the only legal bag will be the Raider string bag, a canvas sack that can be carried as a shoulder bag or backpack. The bag is being sold for $3.

Backpacks have been banned at the school since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Many students are not happy with the new edict.

"I don't think it's fair," said Kayla Shaw, a junior carrying a large purse as she left school Friday. "We're girls. We need to put stuff in our purses."

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