EAST ROCKAWAY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — More than 500 students on Long Island will now have to use clear backpacks in school.
The East Rockaway School District distributed the bags to everyone in middle and high school.
It’s meant as a safety precaution following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. When students there returned from spring break, they were required to use clear backpacks and wear identification badges at all times.
Some Parkland students didn’t like the change, tweeting out messages about invasion of privacy and how some feel clear backpacks are stupid.
“Most schools are very secure as is,” student Gary Winthorpe said. “I don’t think the backpacks are very necessary.”
But in East Rockaway, the bags are smaller than a regular backpack, so the students will be allowed to bring books and supplies to and from school in their old backpacks, then must transfer the items they need for class to a clear bag when they enter the building, CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported.
“Everyone was a little skeptical at first, but then when we actually saw the bags, it’s not that bad,” high school student John Peloetiere said.
“I was a little annoyed, because I have my own book bag that I really like and I don’t like the see-through backpacks. It can be an invasion of privacy,” said Kevin Howard.
Students told Hsu they’re not sure how effective the bags will be for security, but said it’s a step in the right direction.
“I get it. I feel like they have to do something, like some security measures. At least they’re trying something new,” Tessa Lark said.
Paul Berlotti said it’s the old “see something, say something” that will really help protect students.
“If you see something going on, you see something wrong, you see a post on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat whatever that might be alarming, say something, because it will only save lives,” he said.
In Florida, Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said metal detectors may soon be installed at the high school in Parkland, Florida, where a former student carried an assault weapon in a large bag and killed 17 people on Valentine’s Day.