Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Oct. 6, 2006

New color-coded IDs issued

by Nitin Sukumar, Online News Editor and Copy Editor
The new ID policy came with an overhaul and a new detailed color-coding system. The top portions of the IDs are colored based on academy, class or program, according to the administration.

Academy/Program Colors
Media Literacy Green
Entrepreneurship Dark Blue
International Studies Purple
Science, Math & TechnologyMaroon
Human Service Professions Orange
Freshmen Red
Seniors (non-CAP/magnet) Black
CAP Brown
Magnet White
Other Yellow
Other Staff Teal

The "other" group includes students in ESOL 1 and 2. SGA President Eric Hysen has negotiated with Academy Coordinator Jennifer Kempf, ESOL resource teacher Joseph Bellino and several ESOL students to change the IDs of ESOL students from yellow to red.

Hysen feels it is unfair for ESOL students to be forced to wear a different color. "You can choose what academy you're in or if you join the CAP or magnet, but you can't choose to be in ESOL," he said. "So we and all of the ESOL students we spoke with felt it was inappropriate to force them to advertise that they were in ESOL," he said.

The change, however, was not made. According to Hysen, the ESOL students will be given red lanyards. "Mr. Gainous did still support the plan, and ESOL 1 and 2 students should at least be getting red lanyards, even though it doesn't look like the colors on the IDs themselves will change this year."

The SGA also tried to assign black IDs to CAP and magnet seniors, but the idea did not pass through the administration.

Junior Rebka Tekeste thinks that color-coding IDs defeats their purpose. "There's no point for the different colored IDs; we all go to the same school, so why not have the same color?" she commented.

With the exception of the CAP lanyard having brown text on a white background, the lanyards match their respective IDs. According to Hysen, lanyards are supplied to go with the IDs but are not mandatory. "You're not at all required to wear the lanyards," Hysen said.

Under the new policy, students are not permitted to wear lanyards of academies outside their own.

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  • aom on October 6, 2006 at 7:24 PM
    sure, just go ahead and make the whole school more seperated than it already is. what's the point of making different colored id's and lanyards? there's still 3,000 kids in school. and colors won't make the freak'in school safer, it just makes it easier to pick out targets to bully
  • where do you draw the line? on October 6, 2006 at 8:09 PM
    The school already looks like a penitentiary from outside. It's a shame Blair's now going to look like one inside too.
  • Republican on October 6, 2006 at 9:17 PM
    It is supposed to give the us some place in Blair. It's supposed to make us feel like we belong in the school, rather than just one in a huge mob of people. Discrimination also comes with differences and having it on something everyone must wear everyday, that is just begging for serious dicrimination among the people. Divided we fall?
  • Someone you may know on October 6, 2006 at 10:09 PM
    Wonder if the commentary for this will be just as long as the ID policy article.

    To sum up both sides
    Pro ID colors: Create academy/grade/program pride
    Con ID colors: Seperates the school even more; makes freshmen hell week worse

    Debate on!
  • i.s on October 7, 2006 at 5:49 PM
    ESOL kids don't choose to be in ESOL. I didn't choose to be in an academy. Well, technically I chose to be in the Math/Sci/Tech Academy but I'm not taking any classes for it. Can I switch to International Studies so I can have a purple ID instead of maroon? Though my ID isn't as maroon as the M/S/T lanyards were two years ago... Also I don't even have an official lanyard yet, and no one I know has one yet either, so I haven't work my ID - it's just not physically possible without a lanyard.
    PS- "aom": hasty generalization (who bullies kids based on their academies? but if you're talking about picking on freshmen, then you don't really need to see their red ID to tell they're freshmen)
    "where do you draw the line": false analogy
    "Republican": again, why do you say people discriminate against each other based on ID color? The school is not as full of ID-ists as you think.
    "Someone you may know": it's "separates." (That's not really a fallacy but then again you weren't really arguing.)
  • Z.O.E (View Email) on October 7, 2006 at 9:06 PM
    whats funny is that this new program seems to counteract the IDs purpose to begin with. i feel like it would be alot easier for somewone to counterfeit an ID if there are like 10 different colors or formats. there also is an instinctive unfairness to them simply because of the way they are categorized, which could lead to tension. although we'd like to think that we are mature and approaching adulthood, who would honestly pick a brown ID over like a red or a teal?
  • Republican on October 7, 2006 at 10:38 PM
    Very good summary Someone you may know. This isn't as bad as the punishments that come with the id policy.

    i.s, it isn't the color of the ids that people are discriminating. It is the differences that the ids point out. As someone you may know said, the ids point out who is a freshman, who is a magnet, etc. Stereotypes often unfortunately develop and having something hanging on the front of your chest is a very powerful decider of first impressions.
  • White ID Wearer on October 7, 2006 at 10:51 PM
    I don't think it's that big of a deal. We don't have to wear the lanyards and those are the biggest giveaway to what academy/program/etc. you're in.
    Chances are when you meet someone, you won't look directly at their id to find out what program they're in. You'll talk first and ask if you're THAT interested. Besides, I don't think you'd want to befriend anyone who discriminates based upon program. :P

    Oh yeah, BTW, I've seen plenty of magnet freshmen wearing the red lanyards.
  • * on October 8, 2006 at 1:57 PM
    the id policy is not that bad. i mean the suspension is a little much, but come on, you get 2 free ids!? i'm not complaining about that.
    i am upset that after the photo company had ample time to fix the ids, i still got the wrong color.
    i hope the school doesn't go with the company next year, they obviously don't have it together there.
  • bob on October 8, 2006 at 3:41 PM
    For all those who are afraid of being bullied during freshmen hell week, don't worry. First it doesn't exist (hehehe) and second, I'm probably the most unpopular person in the school, however if you don't bother the upper classmen, then you don't need to worry. But if you are well known, then you should be arguing against this.
  • 05 grad on October 8, 2006 at 6:40 PM
    I am shocked to hear about this rather outrageous policy. Wow. What exactly was the rationale behind this? And don't give me, "Program/Class/Whatever pride" because that sounds like the worst piece of baloney to me. Does the administration REALLY think that having different color IDs will foster any more pride than there is? Pride is internal, not external. You want pride, the unit has to do something. You can't impose pride on a group by distinctly marking them as separate from others.

    My verdict, bad deal, Phil...
  • Eli Barnett on October 8, 2006 at 7:34 PM
    Ok, so they make a completely rediculous policy about wearing the ID's (dont debate with me about this on this thread, go to the ID policy threat and we can go at it) But then make it COMPLETELY worthless by making so many colors that anyone could print out a piece of paper and put it on a string and get away with it. Come on. I just arrived at this school and the policies i have seen so far make me wonder how the people who have been here for multiple years put up with this, perhaps the idiocy only started this year, but then again, knowing MPCS, it didnt.
  • complaint (View Email) on October 8, 2006 at 7:42 PM
    im actually annoyed because i was supposed to have a green ID (for media literacy) and i got a white one that reps magnets...
  • Someone you may know on October 8, 2006 at 7:47 PM
    To White ID Wearer
    Maybe the freshmen magnets get red lanyards, like the rest of the freshmen, but still have to wear white IDs.

    To i.s.
    Some people DO get bullied sometimes based on academies. People used to tease me for being in Magnet. Also, I know people that were bulled during freshmen hell week.

    If you do not have a lanyard, get a piece of yarn. I think the school has them at the concession stand.

    Your AP Lang teacher would be proud of your analysis of other people's arguments.
  • umm on October 10, 2006 at 2:24 AM
    call me crazy, but it seems like all the "bold" colors have gone to non-Magnet, non-CAP academies. And we have to admit, there has always clearly been a stronger sense of unity and pride among Magnet and CAP - these are the people that actually left their home schools to come to blair - and it kind of feels to me like the administration is trying to play up the strength of the other academies now. which is logical, but does kind of put down magnets/caps...

    Seriously, white and brown for magnet/cap? The only more nondescript color than white or brown is black, which the seniors have (not even a academy color), and grey, which isn't an ID color at all.

    I'm curious as to who did the color assignments.
  • Eli Barnett on October 10, 2006 at 8:20 PM
    Get rid of the colors, and the entire policy for that matter. fixes everything.
  • Apathetic on October 11, 2006 at 7:33 PM
    In regards to "pride" and "unity", what is the point when nobody even knows half the people they are "united" with? I'm sure not everybody knows everybody else in their academy. In case you have noticed, administration, nobody says "hi" to somebody in the halls because they share the same ID color. But then again, you haven't noticed much recently--not even the intense outcry against the IDs, which has merited its own article, and united pretty much everyone.

    You want to fight segregation? Get rid of the IDs first.

    PS: Why have you still not addressed everybody's concerns? You are not only being tyrannical, but also irresponsible. As students, we deserve an explanation, besides "it is safe" (which it isn't), and "the purpose of the ID policy is to insure all students are wearing an ID" (which is bull). Thank you.
  • to apathetic on October 12, 2006 at 4:17 PM
    It is true that there are many, many comments on the ID pages from students who are against IDs. However, when you consider the readership of SCO and the total number of people at Blair, you will realize that the "intense outcry which has.. united pretty much everyone" is not exactly what you put it out to be. A ring of 8 or 9 students continually respond heatedly and immaturely to any comment which is neutral, tolerant, or accepting of the new ID policy. Additionally, it is possible that many students, going under names like "...", ":" and "Blazer", "student", etc, are just the same people posting repeatedly. I know I personally often post multiple times on the same story and under different names, for no real reason - my name usually reflects how I feel about whatever I'm commenting on. I do not truly believe that the "outcry" is that extensive - not at all.

    In fact, I even say that it is possible many students are wary of posting on the ID policy page if they do not agree with Anarchist, Apathetic, Jon Brookstone, Eli Barnett, Someone You may know, Republican, etc.. and their views. And while the poll on the front page admittedly shows a sample size of 400, the options are extremely biased. There is only 1 option for those "for" the new policy to choose - and this is "The new ID policy is much better". What about people who think the new ID policy is just plain better? Or people who think it's gotten worse but can live with it? It's clear what SCO's views are on the ID policy, but for such a professional website SCO should have thought more carefully before making their poll.

    By the way, I AM a Blair student and I personally am not in love with the ID policy either. But I think we have to realize that SGA does not have administrative authority and while it can give the admins input, administration is not required to follow the desires of the student body. They are, after all, adults. That doesn't mean they're always right, but school is not a democracy.

    Just because admin doesn't do what the kids want doesn't make them "irresponsible". Haven't your parents ever made you do something you don't want to do, Apathetic? I'm sure they have. You can't call someone irresponsible just because they don't do what you say.

    I wonder why you all of you are so incensed about this ID policy that one of you called on Mr. Ottalini, cochair of PTSA, to resign just because he admitted that admin has, and has a right to have the full power to create policy. What's so bad about wearing an ID every day? If you work for the government, you will have to bring an ID to work every day to get it checked. And I have heard people say that adults have the option to leave their jobs because they dislike policy, but how many adults do you know who can afford to leave a great job because they disagree with an ID policy? Adults have the responsibility to support their families just as students have responsibilities to learn. However unsatisfied with the ID policy adults are, they are not going to leave their jobs because of it. So the freedom many of you mention that adults have concerning IDs that we do not - this is an empty freedom. How much harder is it, then, to keep an ID around your neck as opposed to in your bag? How much of your freedom as an individual has been compromised by this flimsy piece of identification? We're required to bring binders, papers, and pencils to school every day, so how much harder is it to bring an ID, too?

    -A rational Blazer tired of immature comments on the ID news pages
  • サク on October 12, 2006 at 4:25 PM
    I hatehate it.
    Well besides the fact that I was put in with a Magnet colour code and not International Studies got me kind of pissed off.

    I hate how Blair's going with this. I mean it might not seem like a big deal to teachers...or adults. But it's like a new level of seperation or something.

    Especially ESOL kids.
    I mean...don't they also have the right to CHOOSE an academy? So what if it's English as a Second Language? I don't know. But making them wear a specific colour just sucks completely. And I have seen people taking advantage of them because of the ID-colour they wear.

    I don't know.
    I hope they don't do this next year.

    And so what if you're not required to wear the lanyards? The ID colour still figures out what you're in. As Rebka said, we go to the same school, so does it feel like they're trying to split us into a specific group?
  • Eli Barnett on October 12, 2006 at 8:52 PM
    People are not afraid to post if they dont agree with us. why would they be? we simply are a few students who share common opinions. Actually, republican really doesnt share our opinion, he has asserted numerous times that we brought it upon ourselves. Please, actually take the time to read the posts. Many of them are well thought out arguments that adress all the other points that people bring up. Senselessly classing them as "immature" is not true. I daresay that your statement right there was rather "immature" due to your insulting comments about our posts. Dont attack other people, adress their arguments and give reasoning to show they are, in your opinion, wrong. As for the co president, he didnt voice that the administration "has the ability" to do it, we all know that by now, i think. he voiced that the PTSA shouldnt bel listened to, which is wrong no matter how you put it.
  • Another hole in new IDs on October 13, 2006 at 9:44 PM
    It's much easier to wear an old ID now, since you can't tell them apart by color anymore.
  • ... on October 18, 2006 at 6:48 PM
    The punishments are not that bad. You get two free IDs per quarter.
    They probably dont even keep track of who gets temporary IDs.
    In fact, one could say the punishments are more lenient than last year, financialy speaking.
  • Sara (View Email) on October 18, 2006 at 10:43 PM
    im not a blair student but i personalt think that that is totaly wrong and unneeded why should a student be singled out by color of name id bc of his or her classes wahts the damn differance ... wel all students of montgomery county schools whats the point why is it nessacary for just blair to do this ? why is it needed at all thats what i would like to know. what is the big importance of knoing what kid is in what class? and wanna tlk about problems thorugh out the school ? ids talking about other kids because of there color id ... i personally as a student of paint branch hs thik that this whole color coded ids thing is extreamly stupid and dumb unless u have a really good reason on why you are foing this
  • mbhs class 2000 on October 18, 2006 at 10:49 PM
    wow, blair has gotten more orwellian since i graduated (hard to believe). this last thing blair needs is 300 students parading around with signs on their chests saying, "I'm smarter than you, i'll get in a better college than you, i have more prospects that you, teachers value me more." i always thought the magnet and cap coordinators tried to instill elitism among the students in the programs. this made "normal" students (non-magnet) essentially feel not as smart as their peers. yes, magnet and cap kids are smart, but so are a lot of other students at blair who are essentially lost in a sea of 3,000 students just because they didn't take a test, get into a program, afford private school. blair is a terribly segregated school, and this id policy seems like it will make it worse. ps. since i'm sure someone will try to call me out for being a bitter non-magnet, i will say that blair was my home school and i'm a CAP graduate.
  • to mbhs class 2000.. on October 19, 2006 at 5:04 PM
    magnets and cap students DONT want these IDs..get your facts straight.
  • Brown-Lanyard Alumnus on October 20, 2006 at 3:00 AM
    Well, I'm glad I graduated before this happened.
  • Non elitist Magnet/CAP on October 20, 2006 at 3:43 PM
    To "mbhs class 2000":
    I don't care if you were in CAP and went to Blair. You could be the coordinators of Magnet or CAP and I would still find your comments too general/stereotypical. Until you meet and befriend every single person who was, is and ever will be in CAP and Magnet, you cannot make generalizations like that. I'm so sick of people making all of these comments about how Magnets/CAPs are elitists! Do you know how hard it is for me to overcome these stupid [and highly inaccurate] stereotypes with comments like yours? Worse yet, you were in CAP so someone reading your comment will take it as a confession and assume every single Magnet/CAP student thinks like you.

    If non-program kids feel "lost in a sea of 3,000 students just because they didn't take a test", why do all of the ones that accidentally received Magnet IDs want new ones? By your logic, Magnet/CAP is the only way to feel not lost in our school. [Silly things like making friends and joining clubs wouldn't help; people would still feel lost] I'm surprised everyone does not want a CAP or Magnet ID so that they can feel included.

    By the way, can you explain to me how Magnets/CAPs are in favor of IDs if a Magnet is the one who developed the petition against the ID policy?
  • Apathetic on October 20, 2006 at 4:45 PM
    To to apathetic,

    If you read the comments, you would have realized that the writing styles are different. And please, just because you are "immature" enough to "post multiple times on the same story" using different names, doesn't mean you should generalize everybody in the same way.

    If you are so concerned about people posting under different names, why don't you go ahead and sign in, so we know that YOU aren't posting under different names as well?

    Next, please explain how we (me, Libertarian, Jon Brookstone, etc) intimidate students so much that they are wary of posting their opinions. All we do is respond to their points. We do not attack people's integrity, only their arguments. How does this cause people to be wary of us? We don't go around calling people "immature."

    Also, please note that parents are not analagous to the administration. Do you feel that the administration is parental in any way? If, for example, you were $1 million in debt, would the administration help you out? I listen to my parents because I know they're there for me when I need them. I protest the administration because I know that, when it REALLY REALLY matters, in a life or death, make or break situation, they won't be there for me. They are a transient part of my life, governing me for the four years I am in high school. Of course, if they were willing to play a parental role (drive me to my extracurriculars, etc.) maybe I'll be more acquiescent. Respect is earned, not given.

    And I did not call them irresponsible. Maybe you're reading the wrong comment.

    I don't know about you, but I don't want to submit blindly to an unexplained policy. Maybe you would do well under a tyrant, and be one of the timid sheep that swallow the bitter pill of injustice. Past dictators would have loved to have more of you in their countries.

    If you read through all the comments in all the articles, you would find that anti-ID people have far more eloquent and well-constructed responses than those for the policy. Who is more mature and capable?

    Lastly, maybe we have different definitions of "maturity." To me, maturity is the ability to speak up about issues you care about, and to be able to defend your position adequately. Maturity to you, obviously, is giving up all power to people you perceive as greater than you.

    A note: I only slight you because you called me immature. So I now immaturely respond to your insult with my own digs.
  • Libertarian (View Email) on October 22, 2006 at 8:59 PM
    "I wonder why you all of you are so incensed about this ID policy that one of you called on Mr. Ottalini, cochair of PTSA, to resign just because he admitted that admin has, and has a right to have the full power to create policy." - to apathetic

    You got this all wrong. First of all he is co-President, and second of all I didn't call on him to resign because he admitted anything. I called on him to resign when he had the chance to fight for allowing the PTSA to have input and declined. He is co-President because he is thought to have the best interests of the PTSA at heart. It wasn't like if he fought for allowing a vote ID's would go away, but the PTSA would have a voice. It may not have done anything, but if he hadn't given in to Mr. Gainous it would have made a statement. They are speaking for the PTSA taking away input by the members of the PTSA. Some Co-Presidents they are. They took away power from the organization they were supposed to be helping and they pretended to speak for the entire PTSA, when in reality they are only the Co-Presidents. They do not speak for the entire PTSA and I would guess they don't even speak for 50%.
  • woah now (View Email) on October 24, 2006 at 6:34 PM
    let's stop and think what we're saying here. you're angry over an unfair and uneccessarry ID policy, so you call for the president of the parents association to step down? come on now, this is a volunteer organization of parents who just want to see the best for their children, not a political entity or government. maybe we should take a step back a reconsider how we can make our ptsa and sga more effective and get the administration to realize their opinion matters. the complete disregard for parnets and students is what's wrong in our school, too bad there's no AYP for that.
  • whats the point? (View Email) on October 25, 2006 at 1:16 AM
    This new policy in my opinion is a waste of time. The question that has not been answered so far is the security question. By having colored coded Ids what part of security is improved? The only purpose that an Id has is security. So students do you feel safer? If not whats the point. Revise this nonesense or get rid of it.
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