Florida shooting survivors get to wear mandatory clear backpacks instead of stricter gun control laws
The survivors of the Florida school shooting, Marjory Stoneman Douglas School students, in Parkland were asked to carry mandatory clear backpacks in the campus on Monday as one of the security measures after the massacre, according to reports.
The security measures also include regular bag searches, I.D. lanyards and police officers at every entrance of the campus. The students, however, are unsure whether any of these measures will actually make their school safer.
A former student of Stoneman Douglas, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, opened fire inside the campus with his legally-bought AR-15 rifle, killing 17 people. Most of the victims of the carnage were students and teachers. Ever since the incident on February 14, the survivors have triggered a nationwide movement against gun violence in the United States, calling for stricter gun-control legislation.
District officials have reportedly said that the security measures in the Parkland school are serving as a pilot for possible security changes across the region. There are some schools in the district which have already more police officials on campus and several of them are now armed with AR-15 rifles, the same weapon that was used in the Florida massacre. The officials have said that they are expediting plans to install fencing and gates for nearly 100 schools in the district, according to the Sun Sentinel.
When Stoneman Douglas students came to schools on Monday, they saw a limited number of entry areas in the campus in the morning, with guards stationed at every spot. Officials said that although metal-detecting wands are not being used now, they are being considered as one of the security measures in future.
District spokesperson Cathleen Brennan said: "This is still being explored by the district. No decision or date has been set for the use of metal-detection wands."
Students, however, do not seem very pleased with the extra security measure, with many likening the school to a prison. Several students reported that their bags were searched by school officials on Monday.
"Got my brown paper lunch bag checked today while walking to class. Lady saw my sandwich and figured it wasn’t a threat,” tweeted Christy Ma, an Eagle Eye editor. Eagle Eye is Stoneman Douglas' school newspaper.
Reports state that the mandatory clear backpacks the students were made to carry were donated by Walmart and the Broward Education Foundation. Many of the Stoneman Douglas students posted their pictures with the bags on social media with sarcastic comments about them.
One of the students said that her clear bag smelled like "the inflatable pool toys when they’re immediately taken out of the box."
While Student activist Jaclyn Corin said: "They should’ve been given to a school that actually needs the supplies. But since we’re stuck with them, I decided to make the most out of the situation & decorate!" She decorated her bag with badges that said “Vote,” “March for Our Lives,” and “MSDStrong.”
"I think it’s the illusion of security, and it’s not going to accomplish anything, except make students feel like their privacy is being violated,” Kyrah Simon, a 17-year-old junior, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Monday.