Access Denied

Students not permitted to enter unless wearing visible ID due to new AISD policy

Photos by Xander Christou

Connor Tate, Staff Writer

IDs are now commonplace among students as they are required to wear them visibly on lanyards or clips and display them throughout the school day as of Feb. 3. AISD implemented this policy throughout the district as a safety measure to prevent those who aren’t supposed to be on school grounds from getting in and to deter incidents that might put students and staff in danger.

Repeatedly failing to bring one’s ID can result in ISS or purchasing a new one for $5. Many students have expressed a dislike of this new policy.

“I think the ‘three strikes’ should be a warning. I think kids should be encouraged with a different kind of incentive rather than a punishment,” freshman Jake Harkins said.

The $5 fee only occurs after the third strike, according to AISD. However, junior Ethan Clare still considers the policy to be unfair.

“It makes me feel like I’m not part of the school,” Clare said. “This isn’t going to stop anything. It’s just going to make people mad.”

Teachers and staff are expected to enforce the policy. Its effectiveness is presumed to be based on how strictly the policy will be enforced. Junior Alyssa Regalado doubts that it will be.

“You’re going to buy over 2,000 lanyards and have everybody wear that every single day?” Regalado said. “How can you possibly monitor that and stick to it?”

Senior Eric Garcia has a positive view of the policy, though he admits it may be flawed.

“Maybe we could just show it at the entrances if they secure the entrances better, presenting it to each class will be pretty tedious,” Garcia said.

Time will tell whether the ID policy achieves its goals of improving safety.

“If they make sure the students are prepared for it, then it is fair,” Garcia said.

Security guard Emerald Gonzales, who helps to ensure that everyone coming in through the main entrance has their ID, trusts the students to follow the policy.

“I have faith in the students that they can follow the policy, for the safety of themselves and others,” Gonzales said.

Principal Amy Taylor was tasked with implementing the policy on campus; it had already been secured at other high schools in AISD.

“Each high school is working with their leadership and site-based teams to determine the timeline of implementation,” Taylor said.

According to Assistant Principal Doug McGraw, around 100 students came to the second-floor main office to get new IDs the first day they were required.

“The line for the IDs stretched out into the hallway,” McGraw said.

Math teacher Steven Trenfield, like all teachers, is expected to enforce the policy at the classroom level by having anyone who attempts to enter without an ID badge go to the office to get a replacement.

“We were told not to let students into the classroom unless they were wearing their ID, typically on their lanyard around their neck, so that we could see it at all times,” Trenfield said. “I have not had a lot of pushback on this. It’s a pretty simple thing that we’re asking.”

Other school staff are also expected to ensure that the policy is enforced in the hallways and common areas between and during classes. Security guard Thomas Hernandez is stationed at the west kiosks in the morning, where he often sees the long lines of students waiting for a replacement ID.

“[Monday, Feb 10] was especially bad,” Hernandez said. “I don’t know if it was because of the rain or the start of the week but we had about 50 people lined up this morning.”

According to senior Allie Kemmerer, lines are a part of the process for such a new policy.

“I think it’ll just take some time to work out all the kinks in the system,” Kemmerer said. “But overall it’s not that big of an inconvenience.”