Parkland Students Protest Clear Backpacks

By: Elise LeSage

Students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High returned from spring break last Monday, April 2, to find that their school in Parkland, FL had implemented new security measures in light of the recent shooting. The most unpopular of these changes was a mandate that all students must henceforth carry their school supplies in see-through backpacks.

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Douglass students complain that these backpacks are both an invasion of privacy and an ineffective effort toward school security. Student and survivor, Kyra Parrow, called the bags “just an illusion of safety” on Twitter.

Many pinned price tags reading $1.05 on their bags, which is the donation amount Florida Senator Marco Rubio received from the NRA- divided by the number of students in the state. Others filled the clear backpacks with tampons and sanitary pads to both protest their loss of personal privacy and to break the stigma surrounding menstrual cycles. Student Delaney Tarr tweeted: “You know, I feel super safe now that the whole school can see my collection of tampons and pens.”

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A number of male students also filled their bags with female sanitary products in a demonstration of solidarity.

The idea of clear backpacks as a preventative step towards school violence isn’t new. These types of bags have been used since the Columbine shooting in 1999.  Still, students complain that these measures fail to promote safe academic environments; rather, they give the schools a jail-like atmosphere.

County superintendent Robert Runcie said that the backpacks will not be permanent and that new security methods- such as metal detecting wands- are currently being considered.