Amid security fears, Stoneman Douglas students will carry clear backpacks

2 students arrested after bringing knives to school, deputies say

PARKLAND, Fla. – When students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School return from spring break, they will be required to carry clear backpacks, Broward County school officials said.

The move is one of a number of changes announced Wednesday by Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runice after the Parkland school experienced a number security issues in recent days -- more than month after a mass shooting left 17 people dead.

A number of incidents this week at Stoneman Douglas have students and faculty on edge:

  • Two students were arrested this week, accused of bringing knives to the school.
  • Another student was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation after posting threatening messages on Snapchat.
  • Zachary Cruz, the brother of gunman Nikolas Cruz, was arrested of trespassing on the school grounds Monday after being repeatedly warned to stay off the campus.
  • A sheriff's deputy was suspended after he was accused of sleeping in his patrol car while on duty at the school on Monday.

More than 700 students stayed home from school on Wednesday after the incidents. Both Runice and Gov. Rick Scott have said they are working to improve security at the school. 

Scott assigned eight Florida Highway Patrol troopers to provide additional security for the school.

"Parents, students and teachers have recently endured one of the worst tragedies in Florida history," Scott said. "They must be assured that every necessary step is being taken to increase safety and ensure no unauthorized people are allowed on campus."

In additional to the backpacks, Runice said students and faculty  will be issued identification badges that must be worn at all time while on campus. Runice said the school district is also considering consolidating entry points to the school and using metal detecting wands. 

"While we cannot change the heartbreaking and senseless act of violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas by working together, we can change the future," Runcie said.