Identity crisis

Andrew Budnick

The question on everyone’s mind is this: Has Wayland High school turned into an incarnation of 1984, or do our new mandatory ID cards have the same purpose as in years past? Students were welcomed this year by the announcement that ID cards would be issued for attendance purposes and cards must be carried at all times. This has ignited discussion about whether these cards are worth the price of the plastic and the printer and whether the school is becoming a totalitarian state or are simply a convenience for students and staff.

Mr. Tutwiler tried to alleviate fears about the new system. The primary purpose of the cards, he said, is to serve as a photo IDs for SAT centers and discounts at movie theatres. They are also used for signing in and signing out, because swiping a card is more environmentally friendly and quicker than using paper. Securing the school and discipline is “not the lead purpose,” he said. On a list of uses for the cards, discipline would rank “fourth or fifth.”

“We don’t have a problem,” he added, concerning discipline. And if students are “asked to show their student ID,” as the morning announcements threaten, it will be no more significant than a teacher asking students for their names.

Mr. Tutwiler pointed out that students missing photos or with incorrect ID numbers will not have to pay the five-dollar fee for a new one. He also said that students who lost their cards should get a replacement. “Everyone should have one,” he said. The five-dollar fee was “…not to make money;” rather, it was just to cover the cost of the cards.

Many students aren’t convinced. “It’s stupid,” said senior Jill F. “The only reason I have an ID is for discounts,” junior Tally L. said, “They seem kind of pointless.” An anonymous sophomore said that the cards were “…a tad convenient when coming in late, but I think we should get them replaced for free if we lose them.”

Some students defended the cards, including senior Amanda T. “Now ID cards have a purpose,” she said, referring to the movie discounts. Regardless of student opinion, however, the cards are quickly becoming a part of the school system.