Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, Calif. has sent notice to families regarding its planned policy requiring all students and teachers to wear fully visible identification badges while on campus, according to The Press Democrat.
In addition to concerns over shootings, officials have struggled in the past with incidents in which students who don’t attend Montgomery have come on campus and started “drama.” The new requirement will enable staff to quickly identify nonstudents and help first responders know who belongs on campus, in case of an emergency.
Montgomery, along with many campuses in Santa Rosa City Schools, is open and accessible from many entry points. In addition, many campuses share boundaries with parks and open spaces, something that can further impede school officials’ abilities to monitor who comes and goes from campuses.
Officials said ID badges are a more logical step than funding a perimeter fence or installing metal detectors that are in place in other high schools across the country. It’s a fine line between creating a welcoming, nurturing environment and creating a fortress and the message that sends to students, said Superintendent Socorro Shiels.
Implementation could be as soon as next month. The badges and lanyards would be provided free, but students would have to pay to have lost badges replaced.