Is Money for Student Safety Being Gambled?

Ryan Miller, Staff Writer

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When the class of 2018 walked into their freshman year, one of the first morning announcements they heard was that they’d be required to have their student ID’s on them at all times, for safety reasons. Now, more than three years later, no progress has been made to supposedly increase safety promised years ago.

Because of recent school shootings, districts across the nation have stepped up security. It started with the terrifying Columbine High School shooting in 1999, shocking the lives of millions of high school parents and students. The more recent, and tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14, 2012 prompted many to want an officer in every school. But these problems aren’t just elsewhere in the country.

Baltimore County has had their own problems. A few months before Sandy Hook, a student opened fire on the first day of classes. Although there was no particular target, one disabled student was unfortunately shot before a teacher tackled the suspect. This event angered parents further, finally pushing the possible safety increase to finally be implemented.

Now, every high school and middle school in Baltimore County has a School Resource Officer, an officer who is stationed at the school to protect the students in case anything happens. More action has been taken, including the attempt to implement student identification cards.

The original plan was so that no one could get inside the school building, classrooms, or athletic rooms without swiping their valid ID on a scanner. Other intentions were to cut down on students skipping classes under the radar, and to track attendance, by requiring a swipe of their ID card.

One question has risen about where all of the money, to be used for the technology, went. Gabe L, a junior, noted, “It probably went to the new buses and air conditioning for schools without it, but I’m not really sure.” When asked why do you think they haven’t started on it, he explained, “I’d imagine it’s very expensive, and the county might have miscalculated how much money it would actually be.”

But would the ID’s truly keep the school safe from intruders? Just like passing off homework, students could just as easily pass their ID’s to their friends in the same classes, and walk off to skip class without a worry.

Students also just as easily lose assignments, and the same could be said about losing ID’s. Anyone can find a lost ID, and it could get in the wrong hands quite quickly. But what happens if you forget it at home? Would those students be able to go to class, or would the school fall back on them so much that they wouldn’t let their own students in?

These ID’s clearly need a lot of work if they ever want to be implemented and relied on. Although it’s a good idea and a step in the direction of ensuring safety, planning needs to be done to improve the technology before another tragic event happens somewhere.

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Is Money for Student Safety Being Gambled?