Several students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Monday were sending gun control messages by way of the clear backpacks that administrators have made mandatory nearly two months after a shooting tragedy that left 17 people dead on February 14.
One senior, Carmen Lo, actually stuffed a sign into her backpack that read, “this backpack is probably worth more than my life.” The book bags also prevent privacy and make students feel like they are in prison, Lo explained.
“Many students are actually unhappy with the clear backpacks, as they believe that it infringes on their privacy, so they wrote messages on pieces of paper and put it into the clear backpacks,” she said. “We come to school to learn, so I don’t think that we should need to subject ourselves to these measures. We shouldn’t need to worry about our safety and our security while we are at school.”
Students have raised concerns about not only the new backpacks, but other security measures including TSA-style bag checks. There are also identification cards that will be issued to students, MSNBC reported. Other students have shared fears about increasing the number of planned Florida Highway Patrol officers on school grounds, a chief worry of teens of color.
The concerns have raised questions about possible solutions that would provide real protection at the school and be agreed upon by all members of the community. Koerber proposed metal detectors, a measure that the school was considering as a better way to stop concealed weapons from entering the school.
“Just implement a system that works. Similar to what they do at court houses and the airport!” the teen said. “It’s terrible that girls will have no privacy concealing their feminine products, and these bags won’t last a week with real textbooks in them.”