THE TALON

ID Scanners as a Measure of Protection against Gun Violence

My friend Mary Claire and I want to give ID's an even more functional purpose.

We+think+that+all+doors+and+gates+on+AMHS%2F+SOA+Campus+should+have+ID+scanners+to+let+students+enter+the+building.
We think that all doors and gates on AMHS/ SOA Campus should have ID scanners to let students enter the building.

We think that all doors and gates on AMHS/ SOA Campus should have ID scanners to let students enter the building.

We think that all doors and gates on AMHS/ SOA Campus should have ID scanners to let students enter the building.

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I am not going to lie; I hate wearing my ID. For the past four years I have absolutely resented wearing it. It is annoying, clashes with all my outfits, and I hate my ID picture. But after what happened in Florida, I wear it every day. I realize that it is there to keep my school and me safe. And it wasn’t just me, most of my friends agreed.

We cannot overlook the fact that school shootings are occurring more and more. We are only three months into 2018 and there have already been 14 school shootings. According to CNN that averages out to 1.5 school shootings a week. March 14 2018 was the first day in my life that I had truly felt like I had been a part of history. At 10:00 am I participated in the student walkout to commemorate the 17 lives lost due to the school shooting in Florida. With the majority of the student body huddled around the flagpole in silence, I felt like I was adding a water droplet to an ocean of change. I don’t believe in gun violence, and I don’t believe a child should ever have to be afraid to go to school. I am so proud to be a part of a generation who feels entitled to changing the world.

My friend Mary Claire and I want to give ID’s an even more functional purpose. We think that all doors and gates on AMHS/ SOA Campus should have ID scanners to let students enter the building. That way students would absolutely need their ID to get into school. This also means that a student’s ID can open specific doors (like the doors to the school) and each teacher’s ID can have more privileges and open more doors that are restricted to students (like their classroom). This would not only encourage students to wear their IDs, but also would make ID even more significant as they are functional cards.  Also, the use of scanable IDs would not allow strangers to enter our buildings. Of course, new scanners and functional IDs are going to cost money, but I believe this is a wise investment and could help our schools far more than flat-screens in the stairways.

We interviewed some people at our school to see how they felt about our proposal and to get some constructive criticism…

Zach Kronsberg (12):

Are you ever in a situation in school where you feel scared for your own safety?

In general, I feel pretty safe at school. I cannot think of a time that I have been concerned about my safety at Magnet in particular. Even during the code yellow lockdowns, I feel secure in the fact that we will be safe. Maybe I’m just overly optimistic. However, I do feel that twinge of uncertainty that I think everyone has experienced since the Parkland shooting.

How do you feel about having to wear your ID everyday?

I am in full support of wearing my ID everyday because, as Student Body President, I feel I must set the example for the rest of the students. It is important to our administration and teachers for us to wear the IDs for our safety, and I have no issue complying.

Do you think that the way IDs are right now could help prevent a school shooting?

Honestly speaking, I am not quite sure how our IDs as they are would prevent a school shooting. I mean the shooter in Parkland was an expelled student, so he most likely had a school ID himself and could have blended in with the students. The same thing could happen with our IDs. Or, if the perpetrator did not have a school ID, they could simply walk through the doors of Building 8 with a backpack and they would most likely get into the school without an issue.

What problems do you think would arise from having scannable IDs?

Scannable IDs sound like a decent idea to me, but if a student is expelled or disciplined in some way, his or her ID would have to be deactivated just in case. Also, as I already mentioned, someone could still may be able to get in through Building 8 if they looked enough like a student. I just think that even after Parkland, everyone (myself included) still seems overly secure with how safe Magnet is. Another issue that could arise with scannable IDs is students having too much access to the school, as in being able to get in outside of school hours. That would honestly be my main concern.

Tori Streetman (11):

Are you ever in a situation in school where you feel scared for your own safety?

No I feel very safe at school at all times thanks to Officer Snipes and the precautions that many teachers take to ensure our safety

How do you feel about having to wear your ID everyday?

I don’t mind wearing my ID every day but I do occasionally question the specific purpose for why we wear them.  

Do you think that the way IDs are right now would prevent a school shooting?

No, I think an ID is good to simply do what its name says: Identify people. However, I believe they do very little to prevent someone with malicious intent, like a school shooter, from getting on campus or into the school.

What problems do you think would arise from having scannable IDs?

I think overall scannable IDs would benefit students and school faculty by keeping them safer. However, there are flaws to every solution and ones that come to mind are the capability of the wrong person getting an ID from a current student and also the possibility of the system malfunctioning, or students losing their IDs. But I think that these issues could be prevented/helped with effective enforcement and proper methods.

It’s frightening to know that we live in a world where children have to be afraid to go to school everyday. I think that it is a school’s responsibility to do everything that it can to ensure their student’s security. In AP Psychology we learn about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. For those who haven’t learned about it yet, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a theory proposed by Abraham Maslow that states “physiologica,l””safety,” “belonging and love,” “esteem,” “self-actualization,”and “self-transcendence” are the order that human motivations generally move through. How are we as students expected to not only learn but also realize our potential if we are cut short by a general fear of our surroundings?

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