The collective efforts of the mainstream media, activist groups, and politicians have taken these students for a thrill ride wherein they were featured on major news networks, popular television shows, mainstream magazine covers, and all of it culminating in a march that featured them as the centerpiece.
And all of this while they called for more governmental restrictions.
But none of them stopped to think for a moment about the old adage of being careful what you wished for because you just might get it. Without a doubt, the Parkland students certainly got it, and they aren’t at all happy about the Frankenstein monster they created.
According to CNN, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglass High have returned to school and found themselves in a place with all the safety and restrictions they could ask for:
MSD students will only be allowed to carry clear backpacks on campus and will be required to wear new student IDs at all times.
There will be an increased police presence on campus, as Gov. Rick Scott provides extra Florida Highway Patrol officers to beef up security and provide support to Broward County sheriff’s deputies. Students will have limited points of entry to the school.
The school district also says it’s considering whether to install metal detectors at the school’s entrances. A letter from Principal Ty Thompson sent to families on Friday said that step has not been taken yet.
Naturally, the students are feeling the ones feeling the brunt of their own calls for safety and precaution, and are unhappy about their sudden lack of privacy, and freedoms.
“It feels like being punished,” said one 17-year-old student going by Robinson. “It feels like jail, being checked every time we go to school.”
Robinson is also aware that many of these safety precautions are measures that wouldn’t really help anyway, making him wonder why the school is engaging in security theatre.
“It’s like putting into place all these rules that wouldn’t have changed anything,” Robinson said.
“I get it,” said another student named Demitri, “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.”
“Every day, students lose more and more freedoms at MSD,” said Kai Koerber, a junior. “Students of color have become targets and white students have become suspects. We do not welcome the militarization of MSD. It is terrible to see our school lose control over the protection of their students and their families.”
I understand the students’ frustrations. Something bad happened, and as a result, everyone must be punished with the loss of freedoms that won’t really amount to much of a difference anyway. However, I’d like to remind the MSDHS students that in the absence of hardening your school with firearms, this is the security you asked for.
As I’ve written at length before, you cannot ask for more safety without losing some freedoms. That’s just the natural order of things. If the students want their freedoms back, they’re going to have to tell the school that they’d rather resort to safety measures that work, and require less sacrifice on the students part.
For instance, armed security, but this time around, armed security that’s worth a damn.