Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

clear backpacks

Following a deadly mass shooting last month, students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida will now be required to wear fully see-through backpacks. (Photo: Eastport)

Demanding Real Gun Control Laws, Parkland Students Reject Mandatory Clear Backpacks That Make School Feel 'Like Jail'

"Because clear backpacks are gonna fix everything," said one with appropriate level of teenage sarcasm

Jessica Corbett

As survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that killed 17 people last month prepare for the student-led "March for Our Lives" in Washington, D.C. on Saturday—part of a national movement to demand stricter gun safety laws—the Florida school district is implementing a new set of controversial rules after the explosion: among them, students will now be required to wear clear backpacks.

"We want to be safe, not uncomfortable. The only thing that can really have an impact on our safety is gun control."
—Carly Novell, Marjory Stoneman Douglas student

Students from the Parkland, Florida high school and other skeptics turned to social media to criticize the measures, which were outlined in a letter to parents from Broward Schools superintendent Robert Runcie on Wednesday.

Runcie wrote that the district will provide free backpacks to students who don't have them, issue identification badges that students and staff must wear at all times, and is reviewing other measures such as installing metal detectors—which the superintendent previously dismissed as ineffective.

A student at another school claimed a clear backpack mandate didn't stop one of her peers from bringing a knife and bullets to school.

The Broward district's announcement came after two Marjory Stoneman Douglas students brought knives to school this week, and the brother of the alleged gunman in the February shooting was arrested for trespassing on school property. The local sheriff's department reportedly suspended a deputy without pay after he was assigned to patrol the campus but was found asleep on the same day that the brother was arrested.

While the Broward district imposes the new safety rules, its students, joined by supporters across the country, are pressuring state and federal lawmakers to overhaul gun laws in response to last month's massacre, which is just the latest in the long series of U.S. mass shootings that are fueling the movement for reform. In addition to the march in D.C. set for March 24, student organizers have planned a nationwide walkout—the second since the Parkland shooting—for the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting on April 20.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

New Filing Reveals Sinema Pads Campaign Coffers With More Pharma and Finance Funds

"This is what someone who's bought and paid for looks like."

Brett Wilkins ·

'We're Not Stopping': Weeklong D.C. Climate Protests End With 650+ Arrests, Vows to Fight On

"There is no other planet to escape to. Water is life... They need to listen to the youth. They need to hear us speak our cries."

Brett Wilkins ·

Ousted by AOC, Joe Crowley Now Lobbying Against Tax Hikes on Corporate Giants

The former chair of the House Democratic Caucus once called the GOP's 2017 tax law a "scam," but now he's collaborating with Wall Street to undermine attempts at progressive reform.

Kenny Stancil ·

'Corporate Fraud at Its Worst': J&J Hides Behind Bankruptcy Amid Baby Powder Lawsuits

"Here we go again," said Elizabeth Warren. "Another giant corporation is abusing our bankruptcy system."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo