Student ID Crisis!!

New changes have been implemented during the 2022-2023 school year. Let’s take a closer look into school ID’s.

Student ID Crisis!!

Kyndra Peterson

During the 2022-2023 school year, “new” changes have been implemented. Many people believe that these “new” changes are due to the arrival of Dr. Blanton, the current principal of Gaffney High School. However, these rules and policies have been at Gaffney High for many, many years. Taking a look at previous years, we did have school ID’s, and we were told to wear them. Despite being told to wear them, students didn’t wear them, and continued not to with zero correction as to actually follow the rules from teachers and peers. “It probably makes me look like a bad guy” says Blanton “but truthfully, those are the rules and the rules have been in place, they just were let go to a certain degree, or maybe just not an emphasis placed on that.” What a lot of people may not realize, is Dr. Blanton is not the one who makes the rules. The district office and school board are ultimately who make the choices for the rules that get put into schools. It is simply Dr. Blantons job to enforce them. The way Mr Billy Asis, the Gaffney High School band director explained it to me, was that as a high-school if we’re supposed to be doing certain things, we need to make sure we’re doing them. Not so much that whether you agree with it or disagree with it, it should be; this is what the district office said to do, this is what we are supposed to do. at Gaffney High school we may not have been following all the rules and procedures we were supposed to, we can’t get mad about it because they weren’t being enforced last year. We need to make sure everyone follows the exact same rules across the district. Asis is coming from a teachers point of view where he has to enforce what he is told to, agree or disagree, it is not up to him. Just as how school ID’s are a rule teachers and students have to follow. “If you have a rule, it needs be enforced consistently. If you cannot enforce a rule, it shouldn’t be on the books at all.”  Says Landon Miller, The chorus teacher at Gaffney High. 

We’ve heard plenty of the student and parent opinions on school ID’s in classroom debates, Facebook groups such as the Gaffney Chatter Box, and in our own homes at the kitchen table. I wonder though, what do teachers think about school ID’s? Maybe they think differently from us or the same as us due to differences in our positions and mindsets. I asked Mr. Miller, Mr. Asis, and Dr. Blanton himself; What are your personal opinions on school ID’s? Mr. Miller replied with “I think they’re a great thing for several reasons. We need to know who is in the building. We need to be able to look at you, know who you are, and know you belong here. As a teacher, I’ve been in multiple situations where I’ve found students in the halls, obviously skipping class. When I ask them who they are and where they should be, they give me a fake name, lie to my face about where they’re headed, and keep walking. I have no way of looking them up in our discipline software without their names.” Miller later explained that these rules are not made for the kids who are well-behaved, they are written for the ones who refuse to be respectful of the school rules. The kids who do what they are supposed to do anyways now have to deal with stuff like IDs and hall passes because of their peers. Asis likewise related to the struggles not having IDs brings with names and how difficult it is to discipline students breaking the rules. He besides the issue of problematic students, made a valid point I would like to highlight. If a kid were to get hurt, were to get sick or be incapacitated and we don’t know who the student is, we now have an ID that we can use to identify the student to help get information to the office. Moving on to Dr. Blanton, he said “I think given the times we live in that it is kind of a necessary thing. In a lot of workplaces people have to wear ID’s, my best friend works at Freightliner, and he wears an ID just like how I’m wearing one here today.” A valid point he has made by saying that ID’s are a very common thing in the real world in every adult’s daily life. Every time you drive, you need to have your drivers license on you. Most places you have to have a card to clock into work, even a name tag while working. All of these are sources of identification just the same as ID’s. 

Common misconceptions happen everywhere with everything. Some things are just misunderstood and the best way to clear them up is to address it first-hand! “A lot of kids think that it’s a lets keep everybody in line and in check type deal but it’s just 100% about safety.” Asis commented. “It is just a safety measure, and a super easy one.” Dr Blanton also on the idea of safety stated “The biggest thing is that it’s just something more that they have to do, but in reality, the world isn’t always a safe place, and this is putting something in place to make us all a little safer.” Blanton also made mention of the Principal’s Advisory group that will be meeting once a month. “If there are things you want to see put in place, contact the people on your principals’ advisory list or come to me and we’ll talk about it to see what we can make happen.”  

Here are a few people from grades 10-12th who are in the principals advisory group if you need to get in contact!

12th: Jordan Mathis, Tre Smith, Loftis Grayson, Miles Norris, Yhazir Estrado, Anna Turner, Moriah Little, Emma Paris, Hallie Smith, and Mallory Garcia.

11th: Rubi Garcia-Nava, Carson Montgomery, Madison Kenneth, Ghader Alhadrami, Derek Martin, Parth Patel, Kaylea Varner, Deandre Bridges,  Emily Whitman, Cason Wiggins, and Skyla Phillips.

10th: Phillip Deleon-Shay, Diya Patel, Jayden Sims, and Andrew Ellis.