Marjory Stoneman Douglas will require students to carry only clear backpacks

Posted at 11:20 AM, Mar 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-22 11:20:05-04

When students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas return to class after spring break next week, they’ll be required to carry clear backpacks.

The move is meant to ramp up security measures after last month’s deadly shooting and a series of breaches since then.

“Clear backpacks are the only backpacks that will be permitted on campus,” said Broward County School Superintendent Robert Runcie said in a letter sent to parents.

The district will provide the bags to students for free, he said.

In addition to the new backpack policy, students and school staff will also be required to wear IDs at all times while on campus.

The school district is also weighing whether to use metal-detecting wands at Stoneman Douglas entrances, and could move to install permanent metal detectors in the future.

Since the shooting that killed 17 people on Valentine’s Day, the Parkland high school has had a series of security incidents.

On Wednesday, nearly 20% of the student population stayed away from school after two of their peers were charged with bringing weapons on campus and another made a threat on social media.

On Monday afternoon, a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy was suspended after he was discovered sleeping in his patrol unit on the Stoneman Douglas campus, the sheriff’s office said.

Also Monday, 18-year-old Zachary Cruz — the adopted brother of the gunman Nikolas Cruz — was arrested after he was found skateboarding on the Stoneman Douglas campus. Cruz told police he wanted to “reflect on the school shooting and soak it in.” He faces a misdemeanor trespassing charge.

Another letter to the district’s families detailed community-wide security measures to be implemented in the coming months. Those efforts include limiting visitors to a single entry point, providing a minimum of one school resource officer at every campus, and conducting risk assessments for all district schools by the beginning of the next school year.