ID badges required starting today

New policy intends to keep campus safer, make students easier to identify

Sarah Eubanks, Reporter

The district’s new student ID policy goes into full effect Oct. 1.

Starting today, it will be mandatory for students to wear their ID badges at all times. The new policy has been implemented at all three high schools as a part of the district’s efforts to increase school security.

“I think they will increase it. I think they have already,” English teacher Georgette Taylor said. “It allows staff to know who belongs and doesn’t belong when we have such a large student body. If I can look for a badge, then I know you are in the right place, and you’re not a visitor. I can also see names if somebody is in trouble or is hurt, so that will help keep everybody safe and everybody knows who’s supposed to be here and who isn’t.”

The first time a student does not wear their ID getting a new one will be free. The next time it is $3, either taken out of the student’s lunch account or will have to be paid in any way before that student can buy tickets to a school event.

“The first card is for free and for a lot of students we have a second card eventually that will potentially be for free also,” Principal Alan Arbabi said. “I would like to take the word ‘punishment’ out of this whole process. So what I would rather say is when I see someone down the hallway walking without a badge, I’m going to say ‘hey, good morning, good afternoon, I see that you are not wearing your badge, do you have it with you?’, ‘hey would you please put that on’, see ya, have a great day.’”

The ID badges aren’t the only new security measures being put in place. Mr. Arbabi has begun standing in front of the school and greeting students in the morning. There are security cameras placed throughout the entire school and the district also has a new lockdown button and a monitoring program to make sure all the doors are locked at all times.

“One of the things I’ve done differently this year is, if you have been dropped off in the front of the school I’ve been greeting people in the car line,” Mr. Arbabi said. “I positioned myself in the front of the school now, where I get in a pattern, I recognize every student that’s coming through the front door. Other safety measures, obviously at the district level, you know we have cameras all throughout our school. We have the ability to monitor on our campus, but we also have district-level monitoring.”

The new need for more school security comes after a string of school shootings in the last school year, including an incident at McKinney North.

“Towards the end of last year, I really did not feel safe,” McKinney Boyd student Lily Robinson said. “Especially after McKinney Boyd got this anonymous threat that someone was gonna shoot up the school. I was terrified. It was during exams and I really didn’t want to come to school, but I couldn’t miss it. I was really paranoid, I was constantly looking for all the exits around me. I still really don’t feel safe, people are crazy.”

Despite students concerns the program has cost the school little and helped bring peace of mind too many students and teachers.

“Yes, I have to believe that there’s always more we can do for security,” Mr. Arbabi said. “I have to believe that we can do more more everyday. There has been a journey to get to where we are today – a journey that’s not pretty. It makes people more vigilant so I hope that [students] are part of the solution as we get older and you start having kids and you start making decisions along the way that help make our society safer.”