Editorial: Lanyards for identification, not protection
If the school wants safety, they are going to have to invest.
Students around the school have heard rumors that we soon will be required to wear our school-issued identification cards on lanyards each day to increase school safety. Concerns about the practicality of this have risen.
One idea to understand about these lanyards is that they are not expected to prevent disasters. The only safety benefit they pose is the fact that students will be easily identified—hence why they are called IDs. Other than this, the purpose of the lanyards seems to be to ease student interactions with the school, such as checking out library books or purchasing lunch and increasing student accountability, like signing in to the school or checking into a PHD.
Schools around GHS have already started this transition. C9 and Whiteland both require students to wear lanyards. It would be a reasonable expectation that GHS will follow suit since the talks of the program have already started and small changes to our IDs were made this year. The IDs are colored based on the student’s grade, and they have a cutout section on the top of the card to insert a lanyard clip: two changes that have not been present in past years.
The lanyard program does come with two problems. If students are labeled with colored lanyards based on their grades, the different classes will most likely seclude themselves to their grades. Some students may take comfort in the anonymity of others not knowing their grade; it is easier to judge a book by its cover when it is wearing a bright yellow lanyard. The second problem that students will face is the fact that students will be required to bring this lanyard to school each day. Keeping an ID is much easier when it is in a wallet or clipped to a backpack, but if a card is required to be on students’ necks, the transition from day-to-day will exponentially increase the probability of loss. This brings up a question: will students be allowed into the school if they forget their lanyards? There are many unknowns about this process since it is still very early.
The introduction of lanyards can be positive if it is delivered to students correctly. The expectation that these lanyards will increase school security by a measurable factor is a stretch considering that in the majority of school shootings, the perpetrators were students. These lanyards will, however, increase teachers’ abilities to keep students in the areas they belong and create small changes to simplify student interactions with the school.