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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School introduces clear backpacks

NBC News

NBC News

Jade Langlois, Staff Writer

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Students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School returned from their spring break on Monday, March 3, to find new security measures that include completely see-through backpacks.

Students encountered bag checks and security barriers and many are saying they hate this idea; that it makes them feel like prisoners.

The students are also required to wear a badge of identification at all times.

Some students are saying that this new rule is completely invading their privacy. Girls attending the school say they have no place to hide their feminine products.

“It’s difficult, we all now have to learn how to deal with not only the loss of our friends, but now our right to privacy. My school was a place where everyone felt comfortable, it was a home away from home, and now that home has been destroyed,” says Kai Koerber, a survivor at Parkland High School.

A small majority of students had asked for stricter gun laws, instead they got brand new clear backpacks. They intend to create a political statement using these bags.

Koerber and other participating students attached orange price tags to their bags to show how much each student is “worth.” The tag is intended to protest politicians, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who accept money from the National Rifle Association.

Koerber believes that metal detectors would have a much higher effect than a clear backpack. This way, nothing can be hidden and everything metal will be detected and reported.

“Just implement a system that works. Similar to what they do at courthouses and the airport!” he 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. Metal detectors are a better solution,” says Koerber.

The school district is debating whether the metal detectors should be installed. The cost is a very big issue. Clear backpacks may disable one from bringing a weapon into school, but one can still be stuffed inside a binder or paper. With metal detectors, no weapon will be able to get through.

Clear backpacks won’t do anything to prevent a gunman from going on a shooting rampage. It wouldn’t have done anything to prevent the February 14 massacre because the gunman was, in fact, not a student.

“This isn’t a solution to making sure that a tragedy like the one that happened at Douglas doesn’t happen again,” says Isabella Pfeiffer. “Many of us think that this is a way that legislators can pacify us instead of enacting actual change.”

Connor Dietrich, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, put tissue paper around the interior of his clear backpack. He said he wanted to obscure the contents of his bag. He also thinks these backpacks are not a solution to keeping guns out of schools and out of the hands of someone with harmful intentions.

“You know it’s only difficult because if we were being listened to and common sense gun legislation was brought into play we wouldn’t need all of this to be safe.”

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School introduces clear backpacks