Marjory Stoneman Douglas High students returned from spring transgres the coming week to a find a new security precaution in place: mandatory clear backpacks.
To many students, the move — enforced after a shooter killed 17 people on their campus in February — fails to address the real root cause of gun violence: a lack of gun control.
“They’re merely an illusion of security, ” senior Kyra Parrow said, detonation the backpacks.
“My new backpack is almost as transparent as the NRA’s agenda, ” student Lauren Hogg mocked on Twitter. “I feel sooo safe now.”
My new backpack is almost as transparent as the NRA’s agenda.
I feel sooo safe now.
— Lauren Hogg (@ lauren_hoggs) April 2, 2018
( Of course, policies like this are nothing new to students in mainly black and brown schools .)
There’s one aspect about the clear knapsacks, however, that were likely to do some actual good, according to some students.
The see-through backpacks may glisten a light on the fact that, yes , many students need to bring menstrual hygiene products like tampons or sanitary pads to school. And no one should feel ashamed for doing so.
“I recollect the shame I felt if I started my period unexpectedly and had to whisper to classmates asking for a pad, ” Ayana Lage lately wrote for Bustle. “I eventually started going to the nurse’s office instead of telling people I was menstruating.”
The stigma is real . But hopefully not for much longer at Stoneman Douglas.
“The only positive about these backpacks is that maybe, hopefully, the stigma around periods will be removed, ” wrote student Delaney Tarr. “Also, that Cameron now knows how expensive tampons are.”
The only positive about these backpacks is that maybe, hopefully, the stigma around periods will be removed. Also, that Cameron now knows how expensive tampons are.
— Delaney Tarr (@ delaneytarr) April 3, 2018
The “Cameron” that Tarr is referring to is her classmate Cameron Kasky.
On April 3, Kasky shared a photo of himself carrying a clear knapsack stocked with tampons. The gesture was Kasky’s way of standing in solidarity with those who may feel embarrassed that now would be revealing when they needed to use the products to their classmates.
His smiling photo — captioned simply with #MSDStrong — rapidly went viral. As of publishing, Kasky’s pic garnered over 60,000 likes and virtually 10,000 retweets.
“Every damn time I guess I can’t love these young people more than I do, they do something to leave me even more in awe, ” Twitter user Kathleen Smith wrote.
“Yass Cameron, ” one classmate responded to Kasky’s photo. “If only I had the confidence to do that.” Kasky reacted, “Here for you if you need anything … tampons and beyond.”
And as it turned out, Kasky did learn about how expensive tampons are, just as Tarr had hoped.
I mean, seriously — for those of us who don’t use menstrual hygiene products, they genuinely can get pricey. It doesn’t assist that they’re often taxed as though they’re a luxury item — and not a basic necessity — too.
According to California assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, folks in her country who get periods expend, on average, $84 a year on tampons and pads. For those working hard simply to make ends meet, that’s a costly burden.
In a follow-up tweet, Kasky explained buying tampons was certainly an eye-opening experience. “This stuff is expensive, ” he wrote. “Steps must be taken to make these health products easier to access.”
To those with questions about my tampon backpack-
I only got lightings. I didn’t know. Get supers for tomorrow.
Sizes, pricing … I’m learning new things about women’s health right now. This stuff is expensive. Steps must be taken to build these health products easier to access
— Cameron Kasky (@ cameron_kasky) April 3, 2018
Things may seem scary nowadays — for a million different reasons.
But if the enunciate, determined, big-hearted teens in Parkland, Florida are any indication, the future appears amazingly bright.
“It started with gun control, ” Lage wrote for Bustle. “But students have built powerful statements about media representation and now period stigma. It’s clear that these kids are smarter and more sensitive to current events than some adults.”
Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com