Safety measures prove to be useless

Clear backpacks are degrading


graphic by Langley Leverett

Story by Hollan Borowitz, staff writer

The Parkland shooting. 17 dead. 17 injured. Countless affected. An entire country scarred and bent on new regulations. Since Feb. 14, the United States has been on edge. From coast to coast, citizens from the youngest to the oldest have been rallying around a new platform, gun control. Some people have taken drastic approaches, and others have taken more subtle ones.

Stoneman Douglas High School chose clear backpacks. I believe that this is practically useless.

There are many inconsistencies with this method of controlling school shootings. Of course, you can see into the backpack, but can visibility really prevent anything? Here’s why I think not:

Let’s say this shooter was trying to play it cool, act conspicuous, and just stuck a gun into their backpack and rolled with it. First off, the clear backpack would only truly help if the gun was outside of, not in between, the books. They could have stashed a pistol between a pair of history books or gutted one to hold a gun. Could a school administrator see it? No. Hence, the backpack would be useless in this instance.

Clear backpacks invade people’s privacy! Say you come up from a lesser fortunate family and do not have the materials that you need. Your backpack is nearly empty, and you’re ashamed of how little you have to your name. Clear backpacks emphasize what makes you upset. Also, your backpack could be messy, and you haven’t had time to clean it out in months. People could easily come up and shame you for your organizational skills. They wouldn’t know what was going on in your life, but could immediately judge you for the contents of your bag.

Ladies! It’s that time of the month, and you want to hide your feminine products so that you don’t get asked why you’re grumpy. But no, your school won’t allow it, so you have to put your hygiene products on display for the whole student body! I know I would be embarrassed to have things like this paraded, and I cannot imagine the spotlight that is placed on Parkland student’s periods to be placed on me. Once again, clear backpacks are a no go.

Clear backpacks animalize the students.”

— Hollan Borowitz

Clear backpacks animalize the students. I have seen tweets from Parkland students about how there are “checkpoints” throughout the campus where students have to stop and let security personnel look at their bags for contraband. The students said that they felt like they were aliens in their own school. Meanwhile, everyone in Parkland is still living in fear of what had happened to their friends and their community mere weeks ago, and honestly, Parkland students would never dream of going through that kind of tragedy once again. The extreme security and invasion of privacy making students who are already afraid even more uncomfortable is a recipe for disaster.

In reality, it wasn’t even a student who committed the crime. Hardly any, if any, school shootings have been carried out by current students at the school. At Parkland, it was a student who had been expelled around a year earlier. At Sandy Hook, it was a man whose age was considerably beyond the first graders in which he killed. The students at the school are all capable of carrying out crimes such as these, for anyone is, but it does not mean that they should be treated as if they are about to. More security should be placed at entrances so that people coming in get checked, and then left alone once they’re confirmed to be safe. Students shouldn’t have to carry the burden of the shooters that are not students.

What kind of backpack can hold a rifle? I certainly don’t know one. These guns are far larger than a history book, and there is no way to squeeze an AR into one of these bookbags. An AR-15 is about a yard long, and my backpack is about 2 feet long, maximum. It is a waste of thought and school funds to even think that one of these high-power weapons required to carry out these atrocities and the ammunition required to sustain it can even maybe wriggle into a backpack.The clear bags are just as worthless as trying to fit a rifle, rounds and textbooks in it.

Though I see the reason Parkland thought clear backpacks were a good solution to prevent school shootings, there are so many things that point to the contrary. This resolution is lacking in its ability to hinder deadly events such as the one that struck in Florida, and, in all honesty, clear backpacks create more problems than they solve. Clear backpacks are not the answer to the problem.