At Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the site of February’s deadly school shooting, students will be forced carry their personal items and school supplies in clear backpacks. While it will perhaps aid in keeping the students safe, it is also a knee jerk reaction to a greater problem.
If someone wants to bring a gun into a school with the intention of using it, they will use it to gain entry to the school. If someone is trying to bring an AR-15 into a school, they aren’t putting it in their undersized Fjällräven backpack. People who take the time to acquire guns with the intention of killing are simply not often thwarted by minimalist tactics.
The students themselves have mixed opinions of the new rule implemented:
It doesn't feel like I'm going to school anymore, my school doesn't feel like home anymore. Clear backpacks, thanks for letting everyone know where I have my wallet, keys, and feminine hygiene products. I know you're trying to make me feel safer, but now I'm just more scared.— Sara // #NEVERAGAIN (@_saxarmaxim) March 22, 2018
One student summed it up perfectly:
Enforcing students to wear clear backpacks is simply like putting a band-aid on a broken bone— natasha #NeverAgain (@sighnatasha) March 22, 2018
On top of the clear backpacks, students will also be forced to wear nametags. While this is certainly an effort, it is both a punishment and embarrassment to the students.
Another avenue that the school is looking to pursue is installing metal detectors. Again, this is not a surefire crime protector. It’s simply a warning. In the case of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, there were many warnings, none of them heeded. In aiming to protect students, clear-headedness will go much further than clear backpacks.