Many students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are speaking out against a new safety measure that forces them to carry clear backpacks following the mass shooting that killed 17 people, but March for Our Lives co-founder Cameron Kasky is using his new see-through book bag to help end the stigma surrounding periods.
The 17-year-old junior from Parkland, Florida, took to Twitter on Tuesday to share a photo of himself holding up a clear backpack filled with tampons, using the hashtag #MSDStrong.
In a follow-up tweet, the activist explained that he has been ‘learning new things about women’s health’ — including the cost of tampons and menstrual pads.
Making a statement: Parkland student and March for Our Lives co-founder Cameron Kasky tweeted a photo of himself holding up a clear backpack filled with tampons on Tuesday
Expensive: In a follow-up tweet, the 17-year-old activist explained that he has been ‘learning new things about women’s health’ — including the cost of tampons and menstrual pads
‘To those with questions about my tampon backpack- I only got lights,’ he tweeted. ‘I didn’t know. Getting supers for tomorrow.
‘Sizes, pricing… I’m learning new things about women’s health right now,’ he continued. ‘This stuff is expensive. Steps must be taken to make these health products easier to access.’
Florida is among the states that have officially excluded menstrual products from its sales tax in the last year, but Kasky’s post proves that there is still a long way to go when it comes to ensuring women have access to these necessary products.
Many students consider the new mandate to carry clear backpacks to be an invasion of privacy, and his tweet has struck a chord with those who feel uncomfortable having their tampons and menstrual pads visible to their peers.
Sarah Stricker, a 14-year-old freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, praised Kasky in the comments section, writing: ‘Yass Cameron if only I had the confidence to do that.’
Thanks: Sarah Stricker, a 14-year-old freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, praised Kasky for the post
Support system: Kasky responded that he is there for her if she needs anything
He’s a catch: Caryn Turrel pointed out that Kasky is ‘already miles ahead of the curve’
‘Here for you if you need anything… tampons and beyond,’ he responded.
Twitter user @sprklplnti admitted that she was moved by Kasky’s post because she would have been mortified if she had to carry her tampons in a clear backpack when she was a student.
‘I know it’s silly but this kinda made me tear up a little!’ she wrote. I would have been horrified to be forced to carry my tampons in a clear bag in HS.
‘This is solidarity in a sweet way. It’s just a tampon. Not something to be ashamed of, like a MAGA hat or something.’
The post has received more than 61,000 ‘likes’ and 9,000 retweets since it was posted, including retweets from fellow Parkland students Emma González and Sarah Chadwick.
Tearing up: Twitter user @sprklplnti admitted that she was moved by Kasky’s post because she would have been mortified if she had to carry her tampons in a clear backpack
Proud: A longtime teacher thanked Kasky for the post, noting that he and his peers prove that compassion still exists in this country
Violation of privacy: Parkland student Delaney Tarr is among those who are adamantly against the new safety measure, but Kasky’s post has helped her see the silver lining
Only positive: Tarr said she hopes Kasky’s post helps end the stigma around periods
Parkland student Delaney Tarr is among those who are adamantly against the new safety measure, but Kasky’s post has helped her see the silver lining.
‘The only positive about these backpacks is that maybe, hopefully, the stigma around periods will be removed. Also, that Cameron now know how expensive tampons are,’ she wrote.
To show the student body’s outrage over the new clear backpacks, Tarr created a Twitter poll, which asked: ‘Alright, so let’s clear this up. How many of you (specifically Douglas students) think that clear backpacks are a good solution?’
According to the final results, out of 199,636 votes, 89 per cent said ‘no.’
Last month, Broward Schools superintendent Robert Runcie informed Parkland families that clear backpacks would be a requirement for students after spring break.
Displeasure: Tarr set up a Twitter poll that revealed 89 per cent of respondents thought the clear backpacks were not a good solution
Saftey measure: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students had to wear clear backpacks when they returned to school on Monday (pictured) after spring break
Making a statement: Many students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School took to Twitter to express their frustrations and protest what they’re calling a ‘band-aid’ security measure
Focus on the real issue: Lauren Hogg said she appreciated the effort but also slammed the school’s new rule
On Monday many students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School took to Twitter to express their frustrations and protest what they’re calling a ‘band-aid’ security measure.
Before sharing a photo of his clear backpack filled with tampons, Kasky tweeted his displeasure regarding the mandate.
‘I was going to say… Unless they’re bullet-proof, I don’t feel much safer,’ he wrote.
‘The people with the power to make changes keep making the wrong changes,’ student Emma Gonzalez added.
‘When people pay money for these modifications on our school (the only school in the country that is being altered btw) that means someone is getting paid and I am sick and tired of us being treated like prize pigs.’
Jack Macleod tweeted that he believes in school safety implementations ‘but the bags seem more cosmetic than actually effective’.
‘I just want to feel normal again’: The school is also requiring students wear ID tags while on campus
‘It’s about all of us’: A student named Sara asked what precautions were being taken to make sure the other 37,000 high schools in the nation stay safe
Not working: Student Jack Macleod tweeted that he believes in school safety implementations ‘but the bags seem more cosmetic than actually effective’
Making her point: Kyrah Simon pointed out that there is no way to monitor the contents of over 3,000 backpacks
Shame: She went on to note that the backpacks could have been donated to underprivileged children who need them
Alex Athanasious said the backpacks were ‘constant reminders of what happened’
‘To quote a friend of mine: I love wearing a tragedy around my neck. I just want to feel normal again,’ the teen posted.
Some students attached an orange $1.05 price tag to their school-enforced bags. The tags were also seen during last months March For Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C.
Students and activists David Hogg and Lauren Hogg explained that they represented how much Republican senator Marco Rubio accepted from the NRA divided by every student in the state of Florida.
‘This backpack is probably worth more than my life,’ student Carmen Lo tweeted.
Lauren Hogg said she appreciates the effort but criticized the school’s new rule.
‘My new backpack is almost as transparent as the NRA’s agenda. I feel sooo safe now. As much as I appreciate the effort we as a country need to focus on the real issue instead of turning our schools into prisons,’ she said.