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Students give transparent response over backpacks

by Sarah Morris - Copy Editor
Tue, Apr 10th 2018 09:15 pm

Amidst the Parkland school shooting in February, kids across the country, survivors of shootings and their supporters, have been gathering to get their voices on gun violence heard. Whether it is calling for stricter gun control laws like thorough background checks, mental stability tests or demolishing the second amendment completely, the students have managed to get a widespread number of young millennials and older generation Z youth on their side. Not only did they organize the protest March for Our Lives, but they also influenced a massive school walkout where kids left their classes to protest gun violence across the nation.

Some states have changed their gun laws since the Parkland shooting. Oregon, Rhode Island, Florida and Washington have all passed bills regarding gun control, even if it is not what the Parkland students were advocating for. 

Oregon passed a bill that banned people who have been convicted of domestic violence or are under a restraining order from buying or owning guns or ammunition, closing the “boyfriend loophole.” Rhode Island established a policy with an executive order on February 27 that will keep guns away from people who display “red flags.” Florida passed a bill raising the age to buy a rifle to 21-years-old and included a mandatory three-day waiting period before buying a gun. They also included a measure to arm some teachers and other faculty at schools after undergoing special training. The state of Washington signed a bill that banned the sale and use of bump stocks.

Of course, reforming gun laws across the nation can’t be changed significantly in just a year, but for some reason, high school administrators think they can save the world with fashion. 

On February 14, Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday, former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people in a school shooting. As a result, Broward County public schools superintendent Robert Runcie made it a mandatory rule for each student to have a clear backpack as a “solution” to gun violence.

Where does one even start with the list of reasons of why this is wrong? For one, as Americans, we, even teenageers, have a right to privacy. 

David Hogg, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas student, was very outspoken about the backpack situation.

“It’s unnecessary, it’s embarrassing for a lot of the students and it makes them feel isolated and separated from the rest of American school culture where they’re having essentially their First Amendment rights infringed upon because they can’t freely wear whatever backpack they want regardless of what it is,” Hogg said.

Pretty well put, David. Just because they are not adults, does not mean they don’t have privacy rights. It is sounding more like a prison than a high school where students go to learn.

Radio host and author Buck Sexton took to Twitter about the situation.

“You can’t mess with high schoolers’ backpack choices. This isn’t North Korea,” Sexton said.

Hogg also pointed out another obvious problem with the situation: menstrual products. A girl shouldn’t have to be embarrassed when the whole class sees her tampons, pads or other forms of menstrual products. 

Speaking of embarrassing, another huge flaw in this “solution” to school shootings is the fact that if someone were to sneak in a gun, they sure as hell aren’t going to keep it right in the open. No, they’re going to hide it in a clever way that doesn’t make it obvious a gun is in the kid’s backpack. 

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had a clever response to the eye sore fashion enforcement: they filled their backpacks with things like tampons, condoms, bras and more, including water and live fish. Students also covered the inside of their backpacks with messages like “clear backpacks are stupid” and memes. 

If the school really wants to make a change, clear backpacks are not the way to go.

 

smorr11@u.brockport.edu

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