Debunking the Myths of Student ID Cards

Emma Duffy, Staff Writer

As the new school year commences, a lot of students begin to fear the newly issued school ID cards.  Every corner in the school is filled with rumors, with nearly every student attempting to take down these dreaded cards.  The most common fear of all: being tracked by the school. Upon shining a flashlight on the ID cards, students are able to see a chip in the card.  Of course, seeing this chip makes the students automatically think it is a violation of privacy, no matter how much the administration screams safety. So who do we believe?

In this situation, the lines are very blurred and it is hard to come to a definite conclusion.  After contacting the creators of the ID Cards issued to Farmingdale High School students, it was established that these cards cannot track students’ every move.  The workers at the organization stated, “These cards are not a tracking device. They only register your location upon a ‘tap’ onto a reader.” That fact should ease many minds; however, it must be factored in that the school will still be recording all trips to the rest rooms and cafeterias, which again raises concerns to students. While it may just act as a motivator for students to behave, the school administrators must let us know if there will be punishments for students that exceed their idea of an appropriate amount of trips out of the classroom.  

After compiling some unanswered questions, I went to discuss the topic with Mr. Hebron and Mr. Herman.  The main point they intended to get across was the idea that what we are doing with these ID cards is truly not any different than any other school on Long Island; in fact, it is a long-awaited safety measure.  They both came to the consensus that this system was thoroughly planned out and although there may be some hiccups along the way, it should be a viable plan. According to their plan, card swipes will be necessary for entrance to the bathrooms, library, cafeteria and the building itself.  It may seem as though swiping into the school may cause a horrendous line that keeps us waiting outside. However, they came up with a structure that allows the students to wait inside for their turn to swipe into school through one of the varying number of machines at each entrance.  

In terms of the analysis of students trips out of the classroom and into other areas of interest, the deans will be leaving the option open to look at the patterns of a student’s absence from his or her class.  There are possible punishments for students who abuse their privileges without a medical reason. The first step would be to meet with your dean so they can further investigate this frequent occurrence. If they come to the conclusion that the student is abusing his or her privilege, punishment such as detention, calling parents, and suspension are all plausible depending on the severity as happens for the violation of any school rule.  The number for excessive trips has not yet been determined.    

Overall, the ID card situation does not seem to be as negative of a circumstance as the student body may have originally believed.    The main concern that the school is tracking students’ every move can be alleviated and now the students just have to focus on the amount of times they excuse themselves from class.  It will be an interesting experience brought to our school that will hopefully bring about the safety that was promised to us.