With the nation watching, students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tweeted on Monday what it was like to go about their days with mandated transparent backpacks.
The backpacks are part of new safety rules implemented after a gunman killed 17 people at the Parkland, Florida, high school in February.
“When students return from spring break, clear backpacks are the only backpacks that will be permitted on campus,” said the superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, Robert Runcie, in a letter addressed to students’ families last month, according to BuzzFeed News.
The letter also said students would be required to carry student identification badges, and that the district is considering other safety measures like metal-detecting wands and permanent metal detectors.
On social media, students criticized—and mocked—the clear backpacks, comparing them to airport security.
MSD ➡️ TSA pic.twitter.com/3k1xMq9UDk
— jack (@cleodology) April 2, 2018
General consensus is frustration from students and teachers re: clear backpacks. Personally, though, I don’t mind the IDs. Sidenote, where can I register for MSD Pre-Check? pic.twitter.com/kytezEyrCh
— Nikhita Nookala (@nikhitaaan) April 2, 2018
You have to get pre-check next time https://t.co/YO5UWaDWUd
— Ryan DeWerff (@ryandewerff) April 2, 2018
Many students feel the clear backpacks are an invasion of privacy, and worse, a distraction from substantial measures to prevent gun violence in schools, specifically gun control legislation.
My new backpack is almost as transparent as the NRA’s agenda.
I feel sooo safe now.
— Lauren Hogg (@lauren_hoggs) April 2, 2018
Starting off the last quarter of senior year right, with a good ol’ violation of privacy! pic.twitter.com/Glf9C14dsq
— Delaney Tarr (@delaneytarr) April 2, 2018
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.
— ky ♡ (@kyrahstwitta) April 2, 2018
Ok but how are clear backpacks going to protect douglas kids from an AR-15
— Kyra Parrow (@longlivekcx) April 2, 2018
— Carmen Lo // #NEVERAGAIN (@xo_karmin_ox) April 2, 2018
Plenty of students also joked about the backpacks, saying they wouldn’t be sharing the gum their peers can now see through clear plastic.
Teachers passing out clear backpacks like pic.twitter.com/GGvScMbenU
— Alex Wind (@al3xw1nd) April 2, 2018
PSA: given these new clear backpacks, you will now be able to see that I have my phone charger with me. No, you cannot borrow it (you can’t have any gum either)
— Tyah-Amoy Roberts (@xotyahmarie) April 2, 2018
Just know that now that we’ll have clear backpacks none of you can lie to me about not having gum
— Stephany DeOliveira🦅 (@ohstephany_) April 2, 2018
Oof we love clear backpacks 😍❤️ pic.twitter.com/Ugl8EpWIa9
— natasha (@sighnatasha) April 2, 2018
Despite the jokes, many students are making their argument clear: The backpacks aren’t enough to make them feel safe from gun violence, and they’re still fighting for action from lawmakers.
Clear backpacks don't do anything except make us look stupid. We want to be safe, not uncomfortable. The only thing that can really have an impact on our safety is gun control
— Carly (@car_nove) March 21, 2018