New ID Policy and Safety Concerns at CT

  Returning to the new school year at Cherokee Trail, students, both new and old, were met with a stricter security policy regarding their school ID’s. In many schools and at many different jobs, ID’s are used as a means of identifying individuals to maintain a safe environment for all. Starting off the 20th anniversary of CT, there are now student ID checkpoints located throughout the school, and punishments have been put in place for those who aren’t willing to comply with them. These changes have been deemed necessary because of students unwillingness during previous years to follow the rules, and the importance of school safety.


Now, after a couple of weeks under this new system, there have been numerous opinions surrounding the latest approach on school safety implemented by authority figures. One popular opinion that’s been made clear by students, is their dislike for the process which makes entering the school a more tedious activity for students to perform each morning, “…why do we need our ID’s all the time…I look like I’m supposed to be here, I’m wearing a backpack,” said Donovan Eimer (9).  


While a number of students are opposed to this new security strategy, others seem to be more understanding, “Honestly, I don’t really care that much, it’s just a piece of plastic, I wear it. It makes the dean’s jobs easier so it doesn’t really matter to me.” said Thomas Goodwin (11).  Some students have been more accepting of the latest rules than others, but having to wear ID’s to school hasn’t been the only recent development added with the new security system.


As a result of not wearing their ID, students are met with new consequences. These consequences for not wearing an ID at school, is an hour-long detention. Generally, students are quite displeased with the hour-long detention and believe the consequences are too severe for simply forgetting your ID, “…you’re just forgetting an ID card, and I think if you get the sticker there shouldn’t be any punishment. Because forgetting an ID shouldn’t give you after school detention.” said Joseph Zvonek (9). Certain staff even agree with the students in some aspects, “I think it is a bit extreme but truly you have to sometimes be extreme, and have extreme changes so you can get extreme outcomes…” said Erica Lopez, a dean at the school.


There are, however, a select few who agree with the new consequences, “I feel like if you are consistently not wearing it then it’s a good punishment.” Olive Ming (9) said. There are countless opinions circulating around the consequences that have been recently implemented.  While a portion of these opinions are positive, a majority of them lean towards the negative side. 


When it comes to the staff, they all seem to have the common interest of safety in mind for those present at the school, “…safety out trumps everything. So whether you’re inconvenienced, your lanyard doesn’t match your outfit, your picture doesn’t look right, your ID is broken, whatever excuses, keeping you guys safe out trumps all of those inconveniences.” said Neal Finch, a dean of students for CT. Not only has Dean Finch advocated for the safety that ID’s bring, but his colleges share a similar sentiment, “The goal is student safety. We want to know who’s in the building at all times… it makes us more efficient as the adults in the building, and it keeps you safer as students in the building…” said Dean Lopez. From a staff perspective, the necessity of having students wear IDs is vital to the safety of the school and is the reason that the new system is being heavily enforced. 

The question on whether or not these rules are actually working, is frequently asked. After students are told to put on their IDs, many take it off after they are out of the staff’s sight. Gregory Davis (10), believes the new rules are not working, “I think that it’s very annoying, and that it doesn’t work very well, because people just take off their ID’s as soon as they get past,” said Davis (10). With these new rules being instituted at the school, ID regulation has been greatly increased. 


This year, hats have become permitted at CT, which has also caused ID rules to become more strict. With hats covering the upper half of a students face, it can be hard for the deans and other staff to easily identify each student while they are quickly passing in the halls. A few students believe the only way to get rid of stricter ID rules would be to get rid of hats once more, “I think the only thing that comes to mind is taking away hats again. If you take away hats, then your identity is kinda more open, so you wouldn’t need the ID’s…” said Zvonek (9). School safety is always a major concern, and it can be helpful if students come up with their own solutions, regardless of what their opinion may be.


The new student ID checkpoints and consequences for not complying can be hard to adapt to, not just because of these changes, but because change can be seen as difficult. It is possible that overtime some students will adjust to these modifications and be more understanding about the rules, or perhaps they will keep their current stance. Though, whether students like the new revisions or dislike them, it is at a minimum, considerate to understand the reasoning behind the changes, and possibly students could form an idea that could contribute to help this new system.