The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have returned to campus after spring break to find new controversial security measures introduced.
As part of new security initiatives introduced at Stoneman Douglas High, students received transparent backpacks as they returned from spring break on Monday 2 April.
The superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, Robert Runcie, explained the measure in a letter to students and parents.
Thousands of clear backpacks and lanyards were distributed today at douglas. They’re just an illusion of security. pic.twitter.com/Bz7yaL2cdN
— Kyra Parrow (@longlivekcx) April 2, 2018
When students return from spring break, clear backpacks are the only backpacks that will be permitted on campus.
While we cannot change the heartbreaking and senseless act of violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, by working together, we can change the future.
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 (@nikta04) April 2, 2018
While his message sounds hopeful, many have criticised the implemented security measure as being ‘too little too late’ and giving the ‘illusion of security’.
Jack Macleod, 16, shared the lengthy walk through security to get onto campus to Twitter.
You can watch his new daily routine below:
Macleod told Buzzfeed:
It’s seriously like the TSA. Getting into school today was really no different than any other. I didn’t bring my backpack, just three folders, a pen, a bag for lunch, and a water.
They let me walk into campus — no problems. I feel as though today was more of a hassle than anything, but this is not what the peak of the security at MSD will look like.
We’re told we will get metal detectors and staff will get metal detector wands.
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
Other students are equally unhappy with the measure, feeling they are being punished with this clear – literal – ‘violation of privacy’.
Lauren Hogg shared this damning indictment of the clear backpacks, writing:
My new backpack is almost as transparent as the NRA’s agenda. I feel sooo safe now.
As much as I appreciate the effort we as a country need to focus on the real issue instead of turning our schools into prisons. #clearbackpacks #MarchForOurLives
My new backpack is almost as transparent as the NRA’s agenda.
I feel sooo safe now.
— Lauren Hogg (@lauren_hoggs) April 2, 2018
In another sad indication of how the students feel about the measure, one took to Twitter to say the backpack was ‘probably worth more than my life’.
She shared this photograph:
— Carmen Lo // #NEVERAGAIN (@xo_karmin_ox) April 2, 2018
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which took place in Florida on Valentine’s Day, killing at least 17 people and injuring 15 more, was the eighth deadliest mass shooting in contemporary US history.
Moreover, it was the eighteenth shooting to take place within the confines of a school in 2018 at the time. That’s 18 in 44 days. It was the eighth school shooting to have resulted in death or injury in those seven weeks.
The students have had enough of feeling unsafe:
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The subsequent outcry of grief in the aftermath of any tragic event like this is compounded by society’s firmly held belief how school should be a place of safety.
It’s a feeling echoed by child psychotherapist, Dr Valerie Sinason, who told UNILAD how trauma on such a large, community-wide scale can leave young people suffering with PTSD for years to come.
Dr Sinason, explains ‘feeling heard’ by counsellors, supportive friends and family members can alleviate victims’ symptoms of PTSD, but added this is a type of incomparable childhood trauma.
Nevertheless, a mass shooting is a different order of trauma. From Columbine onwards this is a particular American tragedy with post traumatic stress disorder being the largest result.
While some with huge support networks and lucky personalities escape relatively unscathed, PTSD symptoms can last for years. However the community trauma adds to the pain of the child victims.
Also those closest to young people killed have the highest symptoms.
Since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, many sporting goods stores have introduced restrictions on selling firearms. Many think it’s not enough.
What do you think?
If you have a story to tell, contact UNILAD via [email protected]