For years students have been able to express themselves in a very unique way, backpacks. But now more and more schools are forcing students to use clear backpacks. The first mandatory clear bags were put in place after the Columbine shooting in 1999 and have grown as school shootings have become more prevalent, but are these safety precautions doing anything for the safety of students?
Schools are using other safety precautions like student counselor programs, student texting systems, and, on a less passive path, metal detectors. There are strong ways to protect students before forcing them to wear clear bags, but even the bags can be a false sense of security. With the colder weather approaching, students will be wearing larger coats. What is stopping a determined student from hiding a weapon in their coat instead of their book bag?
Another issue with clear bags is a student’s privacy. Students don’t want their personal belongs on showcase for the rest of the school, their called personal for a reason. Students have found other issues with clear backpacks like expensive items can be seen at all angles. That’s not too comforting when more and more students are carrying laptops, phones, and expensive headphones to class. What’s stopping sticky fingers from reaching into someone else’s bag and finding themselves a new pair of Airpods? There is just no security for students’ personal belongings, but hey, at least the administration can see their tampons.
In high crime areas, where schools are the trading centers of drugs, guns, and alcohol between students; clear bags could help administration to start cracking down and these issues and help the students focus on their future. So yes, there can be some positives to clear backpacks, but it’s not a blanket solution when administration is looking for more control.
But no matter the stance on these clear bags, there is one message “we don’t trust you.”