PARKLAND, Fla. _ “This backpack is probably worth more than my life.”
So says a tweet from Carmen Lo, one of the many Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who took to social media after transparent backpacks were handed out to the school’s 3,300 students on Monday.
The backpacks are part of the new safety measures taking effect at the Parkland school, where 17 people were shot and killed and 17 others were wounded Feb. 14.
On social media, particularly Twitter, many Stoneman Douglas students were showing off their backpack hacks, or the ways in which they’ve managed to personalize their new school bags.
…When people pay money for these modifications on our school (the only one in the county being altered btw) that means Someone Is Getting Paid and I am Sick and Tired of us being treated like prize pigs.
— Emma González (@Emma4Change) April 3, 2018
Many of the students used their new backpacks to make a statement, with the inference being that trying to reduce gun violence with transparent plastic backpacks was ridiculous, and for some, insulting.
Others were attaching the $1.05 price tag used by some students to protest Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
— Carmen Lo // #NEVERAGAIN (@xo_karmin_ox) April 2, 2018
“When you take 3,140,167, the number of students enrolled in Florida schools, and divide it by $3,303,355, the amount of money Marco Rubio has received from the National Rifle Association, it comes out to $1.05,” studen Sarah Chadwick said in her speech at the March For Our Lives rally in Washington on March 24.
Yet others pointed out that the new backpacks could bring unwanted attention to personal items.
Other students saw some humor in the situation. Alex Wind, one of the #NeverAgain leaders, tweeted a clip of an amped-up Oprah Winfrey. It was an obvious reference to Oprah’s famous practice of giving away expensive stuff to audience members on her daytime talk show.
Yet another student drew a pair of crying eyes with “Prisoner #0612074413” written in red and blue marker on the backpack. That number isn’t random, though. It’s actually her student number.
Another enterprising student used his to advertise the fact he’s on the market. “I AM SINGLE,” a sheet of paper inside the backpack reads. All caps, of course.
My new backpack is almost as transparent as the NRA’s agenda.
I feel sooo safe now.
— Lauren Hogg (@lauren_hoggs) April 2, 2018
And Jaclyn Corin, another prominent student-activist, affixed March For Our Lives-related pins to hers.
“Thousands of clear backpacks were donated to MSD … it’s a shame b/c they should’ve been given to a school that actually needs the supplies. But since we’re stuck with them, I decided to make the most out of the situation & decorate!!” she tweeted.
In response, Stoneman Douglas principal Ty Thompson tweeted, “Thanks for embracing it Jackie. We will adjust as needed moving forward.”
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