After the successful March for Our Lives and spring break, Parkland students are returning to their classrooms. It goes without saying that after the deadly shooting and all that has followed, their school is a different place than it used to be. And the new mandatory changes are making it feel like a jail to some returning students.
Each student must now carry a clear backpack while on campus. They also must have a new student ID, to be worn at all times. In addition to these safety measured, more police will monitor the campus, and students have fewer entrances to the school itself.
All of these measures are meant to create a sense of safety and security. However, for senior, Isabelle Robinson, “It feels like being punished. It feels like jail, being checked every time we go to school.”
Students are also taking issue with these mandatory changes because they are targeting the students themselves, even though the gunman in February’s shooting was no longer a student at Stoneman Douglas.
What’s more, students feel as though these changes are an invasion of both their privacy and their individualism. As another senior, Demitri Hoth shares, “I get it, it feels like we are losing individualism. I understand why they are doing it, but if a person wants to bring a gun on campus, they just aren’t going to put it in their backpack.”
It goes without saying that this is hardly the atmosphere these students expect or need after experiencing a very difficult month, as well as an emotionally-charged March for Our Lives.