As part of new security measures introduced at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, students received transparent backpacks as they returned from spring break on Monday. Students will now only be allowed to bring clear backpacks onto campus, with the superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, Robert Runcie, saying in a letter to students and parents:
"When students return from spring break, clear backpacks are the only backpacks that will be permitted on campus."
"While we cannot change the heartbreaking and senseless act of violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, by working together, we can change the future."
The letter went on to explain that students would also be issued an identification badge and that faculty will be required to wear their badges at all times while on campus. The district was also considering equipping security with handheld metal-detecting wands and installing permanent metal detectors at entrances.
Unsurprisingly, students have some mixed feelings about the increased security measures. Jack Macleod, 16, shared the lengthy walk through security to get onto campus.
"It's seriously like the TSA," Macleod told Buzzfeed. "Getting into school today was really no different than any other. I didn’t bring my backpack, just three folders, a pen, a bag for lunch, and a water."
"They let me walk into campus — no problems. I feel as though today was more of a hassle than anything, but this is not what the peak of the security at MSD will look like. We’re told we will get metal detectors and staff will get metal detector wands."
It comes as a surprise to no one who has experienced such intense unwarranted policing that students were equally unhappy. I mean, I can't imagine the strikes that would have started at my school if this had become a new rule we all had to follow.
My new backpack is almost as transparent as the NRA’s agenda.— Lauren Hogg (@lauren_hoggs) April 2, 2018
I feel sooo safe now.
As much as I appreciate the effort we as a country need to focus on the real issue instead of turning our schools into prisons. #clearbackpacks #MarchForOurLives pic.twitter.com/HqBIeGjzF9
Others saw an opportunity to crack a joke.
PSA: given these new clear backpacks, you will now be able to see that I have my phone charger with me. No, you cannot borrow it (you can’t have any gum either)— Tyah-Amoy Roberts (@xotyahmarie) April 2, 2018
Just know that now that we’ll have clear backpacks none of you can lie to me about not having gum— Steph DeOliveira🦅 (@ohstephany_) April 2, 2018
While some are trying to turn them into a trend.
Others, such as Jeff Kasky's ninth grade son, Holden, objected to the change before it was enforced.
@RobertwRuncie Dear Supt. Runcie, I am posting this at the request of my son Holden Kasky (9th gd ESE), who, for the reasons set forth herein, disapproves of the new mandate for clear backpacks. He worked VERY HARD on this letter. Thank you for your consideration. #NeverAgainMSD pic.twitter.com/i2PrkXpSet— Jeff Kasky (@JeffKasky) March 30, 2018
"My school is starting to feel like a prison," student Sarah Chadwick wrote before her return.
Tomorrow we will have to go through security check points and be given clear backpacks, my school is starting to feel like a prison.— Sarah Chadwick// #NEVERAGAIN (@Sarahchadwickk) April 2, 2018
Clear backpacks don't do anything except make us look stupid. We want to be safe, not uncomfortable. The only thing that can really have an impact on our safety is gun control— Carly Novell (@car_nove) March 21, 2018
Many didn't think the policy changes would enhance the security of students.
Ok but how are clear backpacks going to protect douglas kids from an AR-15— Kyra Parrow (@longlivekcx) April 2, 2018
These clear backpacks accomplish absolutely nothing. Not every item placed in the bag is visible and there is no possible way to monitor the contents of over 3000 backpacks. It’s great to know that this is where my community puts its resources.— Kyrah Simon (@kyrahsimon) April 2, 2018
Meanwhile, this student is putting his new backpack to excellent use.
To those with questions about my tampon backpack-— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) April 3, 2018
I only got lights. I didn’t know. Getting supers for tomorrow.
Sizes, pricing... I’m learning new things about women’s health right now. This stuff is expensive. Steps must be taken to make these health products easier to access
What do you think of the backpacks?