School shooting survivors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, are being forced to use clear backpacks when they return from spring break on April 2.
The students have no say in the matter, and there’s no getting out of the plan either, because if they can’t afford the backpacks, the school will provide one to them for free. Students attending other Broward County public high schools are not subject to the new clear plastic backpack policy.
The mandate is part of a group of security changes at the Florida school, where students are just trying to be normal teens a month after living through one of the deadliest mass shootings in the nation’s history.
Most Stoneman Douglas students have not commented on the clear backpacks—possibly because they’re too busy fighting for gun reform and preparing for the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., this weekend. But the ones who have commented are unhappy, and have pointed out that the obvious solution—real gun control—is not apparently being contemplated.
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To get a sense of just how unpopular these clear vinyl “security backpacks” are, just look at the best-selling backpacks list on Amazon. Clear backpacks are at the bottom of the top 50 list, coming in at number 43 and 44.
There are more changes being enforced as Stoneman Douglas as well. Students and staff are going to have to wear ID badges throughout the day. Teachers are also now required to keep classroom doors locked at all times. The school’s exterior doors and gates will also have to remain locked throughout the day.
It’s still unclear whether Superintendent Robert Runcie, who enacted these changes, carries a clear briefcase to work.
Below, you can read the letter sent to Stoneman Douglas parents by Runcie laying out all of the changes.