Students returning from spring break to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Monday were greeted with metal barriers and clear backpacks — new safety measures put in place in the wake of February’s mass shooting at the school.
More than 3,000 transparent backpacks and lanyards for identification cards were distributed to Stoneman Douglas students on Monday morning. Students were told to report to school without backpacks. Those carrying sports equipment or band instruments were asked to leave their items with teachers or coaches before the start of classes. Extra police officers have been stationed at the school since the Feb. 14 massacre.
School officials say the mandatory backpacks and entry checkpoints are temporary — part of a pilot safety program that may be expanded throughout the school district.
Thousands of clear backpacks and lanyards were distributed today at douglas. They’re just an illusion of security. pic.twitter.com/Bz7yaL2cdN
— Kyra Parrow (@longlivekcx) April 2, 2018
Many students mocked the backpacks in social media posts, with some attaching orange tags emblazoned with “$1.05” — an amount they say they got by dividing the amount of money Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has received from the National Rifle Association by the number of students enrolled in Florida’s schools.
Starting off the last quarter of senior year right, with a good ol’ violation of privacy! pic.twitter.com/Glf9C14dsq
— Delaney Tarr (@delaneytarr) April 2, 2018
— Sarah Chadwick// #NEVERAGAIN (@Sarahchadwickk) April 2, 2018
— Carmen Lo // #NEVERAGAIN (@xo_karmin_ox) April 2, 2018
“My new backpack is almost as transparent as the NRA’s agenda,” Lauren Hogg — a Stoneman Douglas freshman and younger sister of March for Our Lives organizer and senior David Hogg — tweeted.
My new backpack is almost as transparent as the NRA’s agenda.
I feel sooo safe now.
— Lauren Hogg (@lauren_hoggs) April 2, 2018
Others compared the school check-in procedure to TSA lines at airports.
Nothing beats a morning walk through fenced lines with a bag check! Where am I, again? pic.twitter.com/6gDPs8zZ3Q
— Delaney Tarr (@delaneytarr) April 2, 2018
You have to get pre-check next time https://t.co/YO5UWaDWUd
— Ryan DeWerff // #NEVERAGAIN (@ryan_dewerff) April 2, 2018
General consensus is frustration from students and teachers re: clear backpacks. Personally, though, I don’t mind the IDs. Sidenote, where can I register for MSD Pre-Check? pic.twitter.com/kytezEyrCh
— Nikhita Nookala (@nikta04) April 2, 2018
This new “school security” policy is just a late April fools joke, right? Cause none of us are laughing and it’s pretty terrible.
— Aly Sheehy (@Aly_Sheehy) April 2, 2018
“This is literally so dumb,” Natasha, a junior, tweeted.
This is literally so dumb. The clear backpacks and check points create this false sense of security. Anyone can easily hide a weapon in their pants or in a folder/binder.
— natasha #NeverAgain (@sighnatasha) April 2, 2018
Me and my man Thomas Jefferson feel safe now ! pic.twitter.com/XNIkXjdguB
— Joey // #DouglasStrong (@Joey_mondelli) April 2, 2018
But how satisfying would it be to put glue all over this backpack and peel it off pic.twitter.com/vfFwIKlaAL
— Carly Novell (@car_nove) April 2, 2018
In a letter to Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, Holden Kasky, a special needs student at Stoneman Douglas, asked that school officials reconsider the see-through backpacks because, among other things, “it’s uncomfortable to girls ’cause girls have more private stuff/bathroom stuff.”
Runcie responded, saying administrators “will continue to re-evaluate & make changes” to the safety measures.
@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
Dear Holden, Thank you for your well written letter. We will continue to reevaluate & make changes based on experience & feedback from you & other students, school staff, and input from our community. We love our students & teachers. Our #1 priority is the safety of our schools. https://t.co/bdNYC0uC2j
— Supt Runcie (@RobertwRuncie) April 1, 2018
On Sunday night, Sarah Stricker, a freshman at the school, anticipated the reaction from one of her fellow students to the clear backpacks.
I can already hear Peter saying “your bag is trash” tomor- Oh, yeah. That’s right…
— Sarah//surviving warrior (@SarahStricker) April 2, 2018
Peter Wang, 15, was one of the 17 people killed in the shooting at the school.
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