Point: Should students be required to wear their IDs?

Shira Freilich, Contributing Writer

During the week of the Pep Rally, the words of school administrators on the loudspeaker elicited loud groans from students all around the school.  These announcements were reminders for students to pick up lanyards in the lobby and wear them the following week.  The new policy, which was implemented on April 16, has been highly contentious.  In the eyes of many students, this change would be a nuisance — just another rule that they would have to conform to.

“It looks bad and it is annoying to wear,” said freshman Nathaniel Kimball.

However, the decision to wear IDs is an important step in the right direction if we are trying to improve security at school.

Addressing school safety has been an issue for many years—an issue that has been brought to the forefront in light of events such as the Parkland shooting in February.  Although the country may be divided with regard to gun control, we are all united on the same idea: the belief that something must be done to improve safety.  Until federal laws are passed to prevent such events from occurring again, it is the responsibility of local governments and the people who live under them to take action.

“I hate that the gun regulation debate is keeping Congress from passing laws that aim to prevent future school shootings, which is why I think it is valuable that our school is trying to act instead of wait.  The lanyards are not only practical, but also forward-thinking safety measures,” said senior Julia Kim.

While laws and regulations can infringe upon certain freedoms, they are passed for the sake of our protection.  For example, Congress passed the Patriot Act in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack.  Citizens of the United States decided that it was worth giving up some of their privacy to allow the government to increase security and prevent future terrorist attacks.  As citizens of Port Washington, we also have the responsibility to judge whether or not a regulation is worthwhile.  Wearing a lanyard does not infringe on our ability to enjoy life in any significant way.

For instance, you will not be punished for taking off the lanyard during classes or while you are taking a test.  The only times you need to wear the lanyard are while you are walking in the hallways.

“I think it is a good idea to wear the lanyard.  Many schools are taking these precautions, and I don’t see a reason to be aggravated by wearing it.  It’s not hurting anyone, and in the long run, it is protecting us,” said senior Anna Thompson.

It is not a grave inconvenience to us, and lanyards will prevent people who do not attend our school from entering the building.  Hundreds of students, staff, and visitors enter and exit the school throughout the day, so it is important to take note of who is authorized in our halls.  Just as visitors have to wear visitors’ tags when they enter the building, staff and students should have to wear lanyards for identification purposes.  The lanyards make it easier to identify people inside the school and act as quick visual security measures.

“After everything that’s been happening with school shootings, most teens would agree that any step towards safety is necessary,” said LOTE teacher Ms. Cherie Delio.

Students are also prohibited from exiting the school through doors other than the main entrance.  This is another precaution that is meant to keep intruders out of the building.  Again, this may seem like an inconvenience to those who are in a rush to leave the building, but in the long run, it may help prevent an unforeseen threat.

“It can never hurt to be more careful.  A little effort on our part is not a big deal when the benefits are weighed against the small inconvenience of these safety measures,” said senior Celia Christake.

Wearing ID cards will allow students to feel safer in school without hurting quality of life.  Though it is not a gun control law, it is a measure that could potentially avoid a fatality.  The ID cards help security guards prevent an unknown person from walking into the building. They let us know who does and does not belong in the building.  Plus, another advantage to wearing the ID badges is that we can identify students in case of an emergency situation.

We have always had ID cards, and wearing them allows them to actually be seen instead of left at home or in our backpacks.  By supporting the school in this effort to improve safety, students are ensuring that the place where we come to learn can remain free of fear.