Here's How The Parkland Students Feel About Their New Clear Backpacks

Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images.
Starting this week, students at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are required to use clear backpacks provided by the school administrators. The backpacks are part of the school's new safety measures — which also include bag searches, wearing I.D. lanyards, and more police officers securing the entrances — implemented by the school in the aftermath of the Feb. 14 school shooting that left 17 dead.
But the MSD teens have spoken up and said this particular measure doesn't make them feel safe. In fact, they find the whole thing a little bit ridiculous.
"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," student Kyrah Simon tweeted.
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Other students like Ryan DeWerff pointed out that the student body is more interested in lawmakers passing gun safety measures than on them giving away transparent backpacks and increasing the number of police officers on campus. (Adding more officers patrolling the school has been a concern for students of colour in particular.)
Since the shooting, the Parkland teens have been demanding a reform that includes universal background checks for gun purchases, a ban on assault weapons, and digitizing gun sales records from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
The backpacks' initiative was created by the school district. In a letter sent to Douglas families in March, Superintendent Robert Runcie said that only clear backpacks will be allowed on campus. The district is also exploring other security options such as using metal-detection wands or even installing metal detectors on campus.
But students like Sam Fuentes, Tyah Roberts, and Delaney Tarr said the measure is pretty much an invasion of privacy.
"Theres a CLEAR line between public safety and invasion of privacy. That line is crossed at transparent backpacks," Fuentes tweeted.
Others like Carmen Lo used her backpack attached an orange $1.05 price tag to their bags. The tags were created by the students to protest politicians such as Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who have received money from the National Rifle Association (NRA). The teens came up with the $1.05 figure, which symbolises the "price" of each student, by looking at how much Rubio has reportedly received by the NRA ($3,303,355) vs. how many students are in the state of Florida (3,140,167.)
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Lo tweeted, "This backpack is probably worth more than my life #trends #NeverAgain"
But the Parkland students are also normal teenagers, so many of them approached the situation with humor.
Cameron Kansky, one of the Never Again leaders, came to school Tuesday with a bag full of tampons. The move was both in support of students who might feel ashamed of being mocked if their menstrual products were visible in the backpack, and as a way to mock the new requirement.
He later tweeted he had learned a lot about how expensive menstrual products really are, adding: "Steps must be taken to make these health products easier to access."
Several students also made jokes about being unable to lie about having gum or a phone charger.
"The worst thing about these clear backpacks is that I can’t lie & say I don’t have gum," Jaclyn Corin tweeted. She later wrote, "Update: someone just asked me for gum and school started 5 minutes ago."
The teens even created an Instagram account with the description: "Clear backpack clapbacks, by angry MSD students." Seems about right.

Just sharpie the whole thang homie

A post shared by Invisible Backpack Edition (@msdcamo2) on

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