On February 14, 2018, a gunman activated a fire alarm and opened fire using a .223 caliber AR-15 rifle at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. A total of 17 people were killed and another 15 were wounded in the attack.
On March 21, The New York Times reported that after the brother of the shooting suspect was arrested for trespassing on school grounds and two students were arrested for bringing knives to school, students of Marjory Stoneman would be required to use clear backpacks at school. Administrators handed out the newest mandatory accessories similar to the ones required at some stadiums and arenas.
The idea of using clear backpacks in schools is a way to prevent gun violence. I do not agree that it should be a requirement for students to wear clear backpacks because it is an invasion of privacy. The use of clear backpacks is a band aid solution. It does not address the issue of easy access to guns. Students should be allowed to express their individuality by choosing their own backpacks and keeping their stuff hidden from private view.
It is unnecessary and embarrassing for a lot of students and it makes them feel isolated and separated from the rest of American school culture. It’s like they are having their First Amendment rights infringed upon because they can’t freely wear whatever backpack they want regardless of the situation.
Students should not feel like they are in a prison when going to school. Plus, there are privacy concerns of female students who may not want other students to see their feminine products. Also, some students might need medication for various reasons and might not want othet students to know or see it.
Clear backpacks may stop some from bringing weapons into school, but without metal detectors people can still hide them in folders or in between papers. If someone’s mind is set on bringing a weapon to school, I’m sure a clear backpack will not stop them. Plus, the shooter is not always a student, just like in the Parkland case, he was not a current student.
Clear backpacks don’t do anything but look stupid. They need to work on installing metal detectors, hiring more school resource officers and raising the minimum age to purchase an AR-15. Students want to be safe, not uncomfortable. The one main thing that can help the safety of students is gun control.