This Backpack is Worth More than My Life: Students React to Clear Bags

a year ago

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Typical Student has already covered 3 most ridiculous security measures in US schools to protect kids from gun violence. But what do kids themselves think about all of this? Upon their return from the spring break, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students faced the need of wearing clear backpacks.  

Seeing the newly-erected security barriers and bag check lines at the school entrance, some students felt like they were in prison. After entering the school building, the students were handed out the see-through backpacks and identification badges they are required to wear all the time.

What’s wrong with extra security, you might ask? Well, Parkland shootings survivors don’t have an extra reminder of the devastating tragedy that took lives of 17 people. Sacrificing one’s privacy for an ineffective security measure is not seen as a viable solution. The see-through backpacks provoked student protest voiced on social media. Here are the most staggering student reactions:

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Student Kyra Parrow @longlivekcx tweeted: “Thousands of clear backpacks and lanyards were distributed today at douglas. They’re just an illusion of security.” And continued: “Ok but how are clear backpacks going to protect douglas kids from AR-15.”

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Student Kyrah Simon @kyrahsimo tweeted: “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.”

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Lauren Hogg @lauren_hogg also reacted with her opinion on the subject matter: “My new backpack is almost as transparent as the NRA’s agenda. I feel sooo safe now.” And added: “As much as I appreciate the effort we as a country need to focus on the real issue instead of turning our schools into prisons. #clearbackpacks #MarchForOurLives”

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Carmen Lo @xo_karmin_xo tweeted out: “This backpack is probably worth more than my life.” It’s true that the shooting became a catalyst for the anti-gun-violence movement led by students.  Some students used the see-through bags to make a political statement. Attaching the orange $1.05 price tag to their bags, the students voiced their protest against politicians, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who accept money from the NRA. The price tag was used by the activists as a symbol of putting the price on each student.

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On the positive note, some students tried turning the absurdity into a joke. Delaney Tarr @delaneytarr tweeted: “Starting off the last quarter of senior year right, with a good ol’ violation of privacy!” And her fellow student Kel @Kelxmx tweeted: “Clear backpacks y’all! It’s a new trend did ya hear?” 

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Are Clear Backpacks a Solution, Really?

Experts agree that clear bags rather serve as a pacification rather than a solution. Metal detectors would be much more effective instead of violating students’ privacy with see-through backpacks. Still, it’s unclear whether the school district is considering to install metal detectors at the school's entrances. Transparent backpacks may discourage some students from bringing firearms into school, but only metal detectors can reveal if any weapon is concealed in folders or in between papers.

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Any questions or propositions?