School ID Badges – Do You Need Them?

Few things can cause us to cringe as much as photos of ourselves during our awkward teen years. School ID cards effectively capture that cringeworthy snapshot in time beautifully. What starts as a freshman picture of a lanky kid with braces and bad acne, ends with a senior photo of a teen thinking they are way too cool as they proudly wear a fashion trend that will shortly become extinct.

Aside from providing a never-ending source of laughter at high school reunions, are there other benefits to school IDs?

Implementing an ID card system as a way of proactively improving school security and safety is cost-effective and relatively easy. The technology can also remain useful for years without needing to be replaced.

School IDs can be effectively utilized in the following ways:

  • Determine whether the people accessing school facilities are students, staff or visitors.
  • Store vital student information such as emergency contact information, medications, and allergies.
  • Eliminate the need for cash when performing student transactions, such as lunch programs.
  • Track student class attendance and participation in extra-curricular activities.
  • Manage library resources.
  • Verify access to school resources.

With these uses in mind, let’s consider some examples of the value of school IDs.

Benefits Of School ID Badges

Improves school access control

School security badges and IDs can help guards and the school administration easily identify active students, especially if the school does not have a uniform policy in place. As well, it becomes easy to identify and effectively deal with intruders.

Many violent incidents committed on school property are actually carried out by those who do not currently attend or work at the school. For this reason, controlling access to the school is a good first step to security.

School IDs can be incorporated with electronic access features that only those with authorization can use. Which means that only those with the ID badges will be able to enter the facilities. Keeping those with bad intentions outside is a major boost to limiting the potential of violent incidents in schools.

The IDs can also be used as a way of controlling internal access to school amenities. This includes locker rooms, auditoriums, cafeterias, and the library. As a result, it’s easier to control the movement of visitors within the school premises.

Helps students to easily identify staff

Students need to be able to identify the school staff and faculty. It improves safety within the school as the students can easily tell the right person to approach in the event of an emergency.

In such cases, time won’t be wasted on prolonged identification processes as the security badges indicate the name and role of each staff member. Besides that, staff security badges are useful in helping new students become familiar with members of staff and easily adapt to their new environment.

Account for everyone within the school premises

No matter how few the students and members of staff are, it is always difficult for security personnel to distinguish them as new members join the institution every now and then. On top of this, there are daily visitors to schools for one reason or another.

An ID card system will enable the security personnel to monitor everyone within the school premises and easily track visitors, including when they come into the school and when they leave. This will enable appropriate action to be taken whenever problems arise.

School IDs foster personal relationships within the school fraternity

Since the IDs will bear the names and designations of everyone within the school premises, it encourages people to learn the names of individuals they interact with. This can be key to improving relationships within the school community.

Additionally, students are unlikely to feel invisible when they are addressed by their names and therefore individual self-esteem is boosted.

Streamline day-to-day operations within the school

The school IDs can be used to streamline daily operations such as class attendance, lunch lines, library book clearance, and even extracurricular activities.

Instead of having to fill in daily roll calls, students can easily swipe their school IDs at the entrance of every class and the attendance is electronically monitored. The same system can be used in clearing books from the library, and in gaining access to facilities such as the gym and indoor courts.

Improve community involvement

Every now and then, local businesses offer student discounts on food, clothing, and other products. Having a school ID could help students to benefit from such offers. They can also use the IDs to borrow books from municipal public libraries.

Apart from that, student IDs can help the students get an internship and volunteer opportunities from local organizations. It also encourages the students to maintain their discipline outside the school during spare periods. Otherwise, they can be easily identified and the matter taken up with their school in case of any acts of mischief.

Tracing lost students

Children, especially those in pre-K elementary schools, can sometimes wander off and get lost. There have also been cases of older students disappearing.

School IDs would allow the community to easily tell where the students are from and help reunite them with their school and families. The IDs should also have emergency contact information at the back so that the school and the authorities can easily be reached when need be.

Make it easy to identify special needs students

Since vital information such as medication and allergies can easily be included in the student school IDs, it’s very easy for the school administration to identify their special needs students and effectively serve them. This is key to avoid sabotaging the safety of students who have special dietary needs and allergies.

Such information also becomes helpful when dealing with emergency situations in the school. Some systems can be paired with ID badges and their databases so that info about medications, allergies, etc. can be sent to first responders in real-time.


Potential dangers of an ID badge system

Not everyone is for the implementation of an ID card system in public schools. Critics say that it is a populist move that will create more problems than it will solve. Some of the reasons they give for opposing the idea include:

It exposes students to danger outside of the school

While promoting security and safety within the school premises, IDs could be counterproductive outside of the school.

Rogue elements such as expelled students could easily identify active students and they could become victims of targeted attacks once they step out of the school gates. Besides that, students of prominent local families could be identified for kidnapping.

Intrusion of privacy

In a school setup, there are different students who all have different personalities. Some are extroverts and are okay with being known by everyone within the school. Others are introverts and just want to study and go home in the evening.

School IDs could intrude into the privacy of the introverted students who just want to keep a low profile in the school. Some electronic IDs are also fitted with tracking devices that monitor each and every student’s movement. This is seen by certain people as a clear intrusion of privacy.

Students could easily be subjected to bias and unfair treatment

Once members of the school staff are able to easily tell the students apart, they could become victims of targeted harassment by the staff. Services such as lunch programs and library services could be seen as an opportunity for unfair treatment of certain students who are disliked by the staff.

It’s an additional cost to parents

Even if the initial cost of implementing the ID system is borne by the school or the government, certain schools may require parents to pay for replacements of lost or worn-out school IDs. These costs can be high for parents who are not financially privileged, especially if the IDs are electronic.

IDs can trigger feelings of insignificance among the students

As members of the school community interact, the more familiar they become with each other. Over time, they are able to remember the faces and names of the people they regularly interact with. An ID card system would eliminate the need to remember names as you would only need to take a look at the security badge.

Students can feel insignificant if someone, especially a member of the staff, that they’ve been interacting with on a regular basis has to look at their ID to remember their name.

IDs could form flimsy excuses for punishments

Instead of being left to focus on their studies, students who don’t carry their IDs with them could be subjected to unnecessary punishments.

They could be locked out of accessing school facilities and this will hinder their learning. Students could also easily get punished for not displaying their badges correctly, or putting it away in their bags or pockets.

They can create unnecessary inconveniences

If your kid was to forget their school ID at home, you would have to cancel your schedule to get it to them at school or they risk missing a whole day of learning.

This can be really inconvenient even for stay at home parents. Now imagine having to beat the traffic to rush back home, then to school to deliver an ID, then back to work again.

School ID badges are an easy step to increasing security

School ID badges are more than just physical proof of our awkward teen years. Implementation of the ID card system means easily identifying students, controlling access to the building, and increasing the efficiency of emergency response.

On top of this, the ID badge system can become another extension for app-integrated, IoT-based security programs. For schools looking to improve their safety and security, ID badges are a tool that should be considered.

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