Lanyard Follow-up With Principal McDonald


What do you think about students not wearing lanyards?

We never really enforced it to begin with, we wanted to test it out and see how it would go. Part of this thinking was: Can we try this, let’s see what this is like, how much of a safety issue is it for our school. One of the things that we want is for kids to always have their id on them at school. It’s a professional standard in most businesses now and colleges to carry or wear an id. I think if I had to go back and do it again I probably wouldn’t have stepped out on this without the other high schools doing it at the same time but you know, gotta learn a little bit here and there when you have an idea that doesn’t work out very well.

What does the administration plan to do next year regarding lanyards?

I’m not sure what we will do next year with [the lanyards], I don’t know that we will give out sleeves but I think we are closer to a time when we will put kiosks outside of classroom doors to take attendance. We might even end up needing students to use their id to gain entry to the locker room. Scanning for attendance purposes would save a lot of time because it would be more accurate about when you show up in class. We are the only school that has the kiosk system right now and you must have your id in order to log attendance.

What do you think caused the dislike of the lanyards? Why?

Change. It’s interesting to me how kids will post all kinds of private information on their cell phones but then you ask them to wear a picture of themselves and they’re like ahhhh! Why do they want to know who I am? Or why do I have to wear a picture of myself? It’s just like anything else if you change your routine, people are sometimes suspicious, curious or they think it’s another thing to worry about. If we shorten lunch by five minutes, if we said you can only leave out of this door and come in through this door people would be upset, if we change the parking permit requirement then people get frustrated. Anytime there is a change in your routine I think people get frustrated, which is normal, that’s how you work through change.

What is the new scan your-id-system?

It is for late slips, a way for people coming in late after lunch or late in the morning to scan and get a slip to give to their teacher without having to wait for the attendance ladies to sit there a write everything down. It’s another efficiency that we are trying to build in and again it also supports the idea that you can’t scan that thing unless you have an id and if yours on you, the attendance ladies are going to have to check to see if you have a student id number.

Do you have anything else to add about the lanyards?

It was a good learning experience for me as principal to try something and then basically have it fail and without a lot of costs. I liked the idea of getting feedback about the badges, it taught me about how difficult it can be to make small changes but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it sometimes. I do think that we are closer to a time where we are going to want to have students have an id on them. It was a good learning experience for me but I haven’t really given it much thought lately, sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t.