By Lilybeth Hernandez
The lanyards are providing many security benefits according to the school officials who say that the IDs prevent misbehaving students from giving false names to school staff, and identify who is or isn’t a student, a concern to larger schools like that of Independence, whose campus is both very large, and open.
“It just helps to identify if they are a student or not. They can question why they are on the campus, and radio to us that there is a student without ID on school grounds,” Steve Papin, Independence High staff member and varsity football coach, says.
The lanyards are able to distinguish students from non-students,which could be crucial at a high school, where young adults or students from another school could otherwise blend very well into the campus.
In addition, the lanyards with IDs make it easy for staff and first responders to identify students who fall unconscious or suffer a seizure unexpectedly during school time.
“It just has gotten to the state where we need them,” Guadalupe Alvarez, teacher at Independence, says.
While most administration, staff, and teachers at Independence High agree that having students wear identification lanyards on campus is for the best, the students themselves are not so fond of them.
“ So far, students are not wanting to wear them [the lanyards],” senior Leslie Lopez says, “I think the school is just wasting their time trying to regulate something most students are not willing to conform to”. High School and college students are known to have strong beliefs and opinions on certain things that keep them restrained or authorized.
Many students are also speaking up about how the money that was spent gathering the lanyard materials could have been spent on other things on campus that could have benefitted the students much more.
“Instead of spending money on the materials for the lanyards, the district should have considered our school bathrooms and classrooms”, freshman Angel Hernandez says. “Repairing the bathroom stalls, and supplying materials for teachers instead of them needing to buy them for us wouldn’t be so bad of an idea.”
The identification lanyards idea were presented to students last year, where a poll survey on how the lanyards design should look like was given to students.
Many schools are adopting the idea of giving students physical IDs such as badges and lanyards to wear in campus as part of an effort to upgrade security which was spurred by school shootings.
“Ever since the Douglas shooting, I think that’s when they started to enforce lanyards,” senior Lisann Men says. “They just want to be safe.”
Recent events happening globally and on school grounds such as child abductions, child custody battles, which can lead to abusive parents abducting their own children from school grounds, and terrorist attacks have heightened the district administrator’s security conscience.
“I get where they’re coming from”, senior Emily Berido says, “I get administration staff and teachers first concern are the students, and even more after these recent shootings on school campuses, but an ID on a string of rope is not going to prevent a person from going to a school and committing atrocities like that.”
The lanyard idea is proving to not see eye to eye with the majority of students at Independence High, who believe the lanyards are showing lack of courtesy and respect for their right to wear what they want, and are generally useless at stopping the evils they were designed to prevent precisely because the students are not wearing them.
“If the situation gets deeper where we will be forced to wear them, the lanyards will only anger and frustrate students, causing them to act out, and creating more problems than what we started with”.