Although not exactly fashionable or completely desirable, there are particular “pros” to the new uniform policy implemented by the school board in Parkland, Florida after the shooting on Valentine’s day. When the student body made a return to campus, they were handed mandatory identification that must be worn at all times and clear book bags that were to be used for the foreseeable future. Students quickly went to social media to protest against this new mandate and, in the words of many students, “clear violation of privacy.” Despite the negative commentary made by students, the purpose of implementing these new clear bags, which are now part of the school’s policy, has benefits in terms of keeping the students safe—which is the school’s most crucial priority.
Due to the clarity of the material, everything inside the bag can be detected without having to open the bag. School board members believe this will make it harder for anyone to bring a weapon onto school grounds as it will be easier to identify the assailant and apprehend them before they can go through with their malicious plans. After the horrific incident occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, school security has surely been on high alert. These new book bags make it easier to inspect a bag at a glance. Moreover, parents too will be able to clearly see what their son or daughter is taking to school, reducing the chance of the student sneaking something they shouldn’t into their bags for concealment.
“In all honesty, I really do think the adults handling the situation are just trying desperately to find a solution to the nagging question in everyone’s mind…’what if it happens again?’ This is just one of the solutions that they are trying out to see if it helps,” junior Louis Roses said.
Additionally, with clear book bags students are able to see what they are missing in terms of books and other supplies intended for that day’s classes without having to open their bags. In addition to seeing what they might be forgetting at home quicker, students can find their belongings in a faster manner. Furthermore, teachers and school administration will now have an inside look at the student’s bag, making it easier to detect any type of theft regarding classroom materials and other items of school property.
By having a book bag that everyone has, one can avoid having to spend a costly amount of money to buy a book bag that will only end up scarping the floor every time one sits down, getting dirty from the day to day use. Nonetheless, now everyone can be on the same level—no flashy book bags or accessories that can clearly separate those with the income to afford them from those who cannot afford them. This policy allows the entire student body to be uniform and no student can make another student uncomfortable with designs that may not be flattering; nobody likes to be reminded of their monetary struggles as a student parades down the hall with a Prada bag.
“I think this is a step in the right direction. However, this cannot be the only change the school makes,” sophomore Brooke Dickler said.
This transparency is the new status quo the student population has to deal with. Current lawmakers for the school board district have decided that this is the school policy at the moment and expect that these students will simply follow the new rules. However, the students are doing the exact opposite.
One cannot help but wonder, after these students went through a traumatic experience and lost classmates, why is this new policy implemented to keep them safe is receiving such negative rapport? Students spend a large fraction of their time in school and should feel safe in their second home. This rule for transparent bags is a step in the right direction, but it is just one step in a long road for a change.