High School Enforces New ID Policy

Changes to safety and security policies now require that students display their ID at all times.

The district began enforcing its long-ignored student ID policy this year in an effort to improve safety.

In an email sent to students Aug. 19, Principal Eric Juli announced the policy shift. “We are increasing our focus on student and staffulty safety as we start the year,” Juli stated.

The ID card policy, which can be found in the Student Handbook, states that “students must display their ID cards at all times.” This policy was first introduced in the handbook for the 2018-2019 school year, prior to which students were required to carry their IDs but not display them, according to the 2017-2018 handbook.

A more detailed version of the policy was presented to students in Crew Aug. 30, in a document titled “Changes to High School Student Handbook.” “Student IDs must be worn with the picture visible, at all times,” the document stated. “There will be no exceptions or excuses to this policy.”

According to Juli, this means that students must wear IDs on their person, not their backpacks, since students don’t always have their backpacks with them in the hallways, especially when using a hall pass during class.

When the policy was first introduced in 2018, students were skeptical. While some skepticism remains, many students have accepted it as a minor inconvenience. “If it makes the school safer, then I guess that’s just what you gotta do,” junior Titus Wilson said.

“It’s annoying but understandable.junior Antonio Maia said. 

Senior Meredith Sundahl expressed a similar sentiment. “I don’t dislike it,” Sundahl said. “I just don’t think it’ll last long because it’s a lot of effort to enforce.”

To ensure that students are wearing IDs, Assistant Principal Rebekah Sharpe makes an announcement near the beginning of the first block of each day in which she reminds teachers to ensure that their students are wearing IDs. If a student does not have an ID at this time, their teacher will send them to the security desk at the main entrance to obtain a temporary badge. 

According to Juli, students may use an alternative way of displaying their ID if they prefer it to the provided lanyard. “They have to be on each person, they have to be visible, but they don’t have to be worn around the neck,” he said. “Also, if students have ideas about kinds of lanyards they would want us to purchase, or kinds of clips they would want us to purchase, we’re open to all those ideas.”

After receiving feedback from students who disliked their ID photos, Juli said he will allow students to take a new photo to replace the current one. ”We will take new pictures at no charge – one time, not every week – but if you have an old picture that you don’t like, or if you’ve got a picture from last year that you don’t like, we will take another picture,” he said. 

The document also included updates to the high school visitor policy. Before allowing a visitor to enter, security will verify their identity and use Raptor a school safety app that integrates with PowerSchool to verify that they are a student’s parent or guardian. “The identity of the person and their approval as a family or guardian contact must be verified through raptor,” the document stated. “A visitor cannot enter the building if we cannot confirm their identity.”

Once a visitor has checked in, they must be escorted by security personnel at all times, according to the document.

Juli said that the new policies extend to all staff members, including himself. “I’m asking teachers to wear their badges, too. I’ve directed security to stop me if I come into the building without a badge,” he said.

The policy changes come in the wake of a nationwide increase in school violence and mass shootings that are causing schools across the country to pay more attention to student safety. “The reality is, there are school shootings in our country, and they happen too often,” Juli said. 

Last year, the high school dealt with security incidents including a Sept. 9 threat that delayed classes by almost three hours and a gun threat on June 3. 

“This is not intended to be a punishment. It’s intended to be a positive thing to keep everybody safe,” Juli said. “We’re gonna do this every day, all year long, because we need to be safe every day, all year long.”

Web & Print Managing Editor Marin Hunter and Spotlight Reporters Ruben Rippner and Trent Kafcsak contributed to reporting.

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