Ever since the tragedy that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD), students across the country have protested, speaking in favor of stricter gun laws in the United States. So far, the only action being taken includes the increase of ineffective security measures in schools- more specifically, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Starting Monday, April 2, students at MSD were required to replace their book bags with futile clear backpacks provided by the school and pass through multiple security checks as they made their way on campus. In addition to these security updates, Broward County instituted a districtwide rule that all Broward County public high school students must have their school IDs displayed at all times. According to NBC Miami, the Broward school district is also considering permanent metal detectors and wands at MSD.
Requiring the use of clear backpacks is an invasion of privacy for students and having to enter school, a supposed safe space for one to learn, through metal detectors is horrendous. Many students have taken to social media to express their feelings of disgust about the new protocol.
“My school is starting to feel like a prison.”
“Tomorrow we will have to go through security checkpoints and be given clear backpacks,” MSD junior Sarah Chadwick said via Twitter. “My school is starting to feel like a prison.”
The newsletter The Conversation mentions that this approach to the MSD tragedy is called “target hardening,” meaning that it is an attempt to protect schools against gun violence through new security protocols and measures. They also mention that target hardening is not effective because it can backfire. With metal detectors set in place and students witnessing each other being patted down and wanded, school will seem like a place where violence is expected to occur. Installing these security checkpoints in schools will only instill fear in students.
Another concern with the “improved” security is that these systems have the potential to be easily bypassed. If a student truly desired to bring a firearm or weapon of any kind to school, they will find a way to sneak it in.
Installing these security checkpoints in schools will only instill fear in students.
“If someone intends to do harm, they will find a way, which can easily bypass ID checks and clear backpacks,” CCHS sophomore Adrianna Luna said. “It seems as if these forms of action were only in an attempt to give students a sense of security. However, [it] has proven to be ineffective as students react negatively [because] they see no point or protective value to these rules.”
Even if one of the new security measures increased the safety of students, it would only be effective if these measures were put in place at all of the schools in the district or even the state. Lightning will not strike in the same place twice, and this applies to shootings as well. It is a bad idea to only strengthen MSD’s security while neglecting other schools. That makes other schools an easier target due to comparatively weak security on those campuses. Other schools in Broward County and Florida are at risk, but the only school that is getting much-needed security updates is MSD.
If officials are working towards making schools safer, then an effective security policy should be used in all of the schools in the district or state. Even though implementing these measures would be a slightly more effective way of using the clear backpacks, it’s still an inadequate “improvement.” The change students want to see is effective gun control, not plastic backpacks.
Photo by Kyle Nelson