Identifying the problem
The use of identification cards at Clarke Central High School was intended for students’ safety. However, the students themselves have little motivation to wear them.
On Oct. 10, student identification cards with lanyards were distributed by the Clarke Central High School administrative team.
Graphic by Caleb Hayes
By Oct. 11, the novelty of the cards had already worn off and the resistance against the new policy had begun.
The policy, which requires all students to wear their ID cards at all times, cannot and will not be effective unless the reasoning behind it — a serious lapse in the safety of CCHS students — is made perfectly clear to those who are expected to follow it.
“We’ve had several incidents of people coming off campus into our building. We should be able to ask for an ID to recognize (them),” CCHS Principal Dr. Robbie P. Hooker said. “You see people walking through our campus all the time who are not affiliated with the school.”
Though the administration’s intentions are commendable, the execution of their solution missed the mark. In an ideal situation, it would be easy for the administrators to expect students to wear the ID cards as intended.
However, logistically and realistically, it’s highly unlikely that 1,500 students will be able to follow the new policy without insubordination or negligence. Within days of distribution, students were drawing on their ID cards, exchanging them with friends or even leaving them at home.
“There are people who like to rebel, and there are people who’ll forget. We’re just high schoolers, so we don’t want to walk around with IDs on our necks,” CCHS junior Shari Armour said. “I actually have no idea why the policy was put in place.”
The concern for the safety of CCHS students has not been widely explained to all students, and as a result of this lack of solid reasoning, the policy itself has become a joke.
In a letter from Hooker sent home to parents regarding the new rule, a reason for the ID card policy was that “Most work places require IDs to be worn at all times, and this system will help students get into the habit of wearing an ID before they go into the workforce on a full time basis.”
There are numerous professions that do not require the person to have a glorified name tag swinging from a lanyard around his or her neck at all times — lawyer, chef, teacher and businessman, just to name a few. However, even if this were not the case, this reason is trivial and flimsy, as it essentially equates to saying, “All students must wear ID tags now so that they can wear them for the rest of their lives.”
The real problem here is that security is easily breached at CCHS. Without this reason being properly explained, there is very little motivation for students to actually follow the policy.
“If everyone would (wear the IDs), it might be a good idea and it might be helpful for security, but it’ll never happen. Not everyone’s going to do it, ever. It’s not going to work,” Armour said.
Even if students are not actively seeking to defy the policy, there are still substantial flaws in its implementation. This plan is not as useful as it appears on paper. The security problem is just too big to solve with some laminated pictures.
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