ID policy questioned

Dec. 20, 2001, midnight | By L.A. Holmes | 19 years, 1 month ago

As Blair steps up enforcement of its ID policy, at least three other county high schools have recently downgraded their regulations that originally required students to wear ID cards.

Watkins Mill, Bethesda-Chevy Chase and Seneca Valley high schools, along with eight others in the county, now mandate only that students be able to produce ID cards upon request. Seneca Valley cited chronic lack of compliance as the reason for altering its policy, which before Nov 30 required students to wear ID badges, as Blair and 11 other MCPS schools currently do.

Leila Fahrner, Seneca Valley principal's secretary, said the school's previous policy caused repeat offenders to sacrifice class time while waiting for new IDs. This problem exists in Blair's ID policy as well. Security guard Cedric Boatman estimates that Blair security makes 50 to 100 replacement IDs every day. Also, as of Dec 13, 1,654 students hold financial obligations because of unpaid-for replacement IDs.

Despite the occasional delays, Security Team Leader Edward Reddick said the ID program is a necessary tool for ensuring the safety of the Blair campus. "[ID wearers are] readily determined as students here. It aids in keeping the school and the students safe," he said.

To emphasize the importance of Blair's policy and to combat noncompliance, Blair's security team created the ID Sweep, which was initiated Dec 3 during fourth period. Security staff members spot-checked for students not wearing IDs and sent them to a makeshift in-school suspension area in the SAC for the class period. Approximately 125 students were detained in the SAC Dec 3, including those who were wearing IDs but were tardy to class.

Meanwhile, a student group at Blake High School organized a day of protest against the school's ID plan. According to Blake senior Danny Roller, on Dec 7 students wore white armbands adorned with random student identification numbers and circulated a petition against Blake's current policy, which requires students to scan their IDs into a computer logging system upon entry into the school.

Roller argued that checking into the school is ineffective and makes Blake seem "more like a prison."

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L.A. Holmes. L.A. Holmes is a SENIOR!! ('03 Baby!) in the Communication Arts Program. L.A. currently reigns as Managing Opinions and Editorials Editor of <i>Silver Chips</i> with her dear friend, Rachel Yood, and she is the first in <i>Silver Chips</i> history to hold the hotly contested and … More »

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