Panther Prints

IDs Make Students Safer, Just Slightly

Photo by Emma Trussell

Photo by Emma Trussell

by Staff Editorial

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All students and staff are now required to wear an ID while on campus and utilizing district transportation to increase campus security and prevent outside threats. Although there are flaws in this new system, the ID badges still make the school safer.

The role of the IDs extends beyond a simple security system; they are visible symbols that create and send a message of security. Even if the badges are as ineffective as the TSA, which failed 95-percent of the Department of Homeland Security’s undercover weapons test, their institution is enough to diminish a sense of defenselessness and amplify feelings of comfort. An ID, and the lanyard it is worn on, is more than a fashion accessory or a tiresome inconvenience. They show that we belong here and are a physical manifestation of that message. This sentiment should be echoed in the way that students feel at school and foster a sense of purpose in their attendance.

An open campus makes implementing effective security measures a tremendous challenge, but the IDs are a way to reduce the severely lax nature of our campus’ borders. Previously, former students or random visitors could easily enter and exit the buildings without any cause for concern. If they looked like they belonged, there was no reason to question that they didn’t. However, the badges provide a method of recognizing outside persons and have the added benefit of doing so definitively without profiling. The advantage of reducing the dangers of an open campus will only increase once locking doors are eventually put in place.

Plano ISD is a top-performing school district, earning an A from TXschools.org, so it is only natural that PISD maintains their high standards in the realm of security. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 16.2 percent of high schools required students to wear a badge or picture ID in the 2015-16 school year. This figure is likely to increase as school shootings continue and a lack of serious measures at a federal level shifts security solutions onto local schools. The badges may not specifically target school shootings, but they elevate security regardless.

While there may be a lack of enforcement by some teachers on wearing the IDs, the fact remains that students are safer with them than we are without. A potential perpetrator could make a fake ID to infiltrate the school, but that requires additional effort, which would decrease the likelihood of targeting the school. The mere existence of them provides a deterrent towards targeting the school. Given the pressures of a limited, publicly-funded budget, the badges are a sensible enough way to increase security without consuming all funding.

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