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Beginning this year, students and faculty are required to keep their IDs in a visible place at all times. This development has come as a result of increased pressure on schools to maximize their safety features in the wake of recent tragedies, and the policy will be implemented on all Denton ISD campuses. Its intent is to ensure that all people in the school are meant to be here, and their presence is known.

Middle schools have already enforced this rule for years, so the adjustment will be nonexistent for freshmen; however, the concept has largely been lost on current upperclassmen. One student, senior Carter Smith, expressed some of his dissatisfaction with the new ID policy, but he is also understanding and compliant, considering that its goal is to provide a greater sense of security in the school.

“I feel like it’s not really necessary at all times, but I can see why, as a security issue they would institute [it],” Smith said. “It’s not really any trouble, it’s just extra.”

In second block, teachers have been checking for IDs daily; if students are found not to have an ID, they will be given a uniform paper wristband that says “Home of Champions.”

“We’re prepared to go through some growing pains,” assistant principal Jay Swafford said. “Because with any new policy change you’re gonna have a lot of people who are used to the way things were done in the past, but we’re prepared to handle all of those challenges and really make it so it’s more of an accepted thing.”

Swafford transitioned from teacher to principal this school year, but he’s already working on continuing the plans former assistant principal Trey Peden set in place for maximizing school safety.

“Mr. Peden has done a lot of the leg work on this stuff in the past couple of years, and I’m just taking it over and running with it,” Mr. Swafford said. “He took a big role in really evaluating where we’re weak.”

In addition to the ID policy, every visitor to the school is required to wear a visitor’s pass. Much like the ID, visitors’ passes ensure that school administrators and staff can identify everyone on campus and that everyone is where they belong at all times.

“The bottom line is: your safety is more important than anything,” Mr. Swafford said. “Even if it’s an inconvenience to our most beloved alumni, [the students’] safety comes before anything.”

Administrators acknowledge that change won’t come over night, and that having students wear IDs is not going to solve every school safety problem that has come up in recent years, but these policies are just another step in the right direction to a future where students can learn without fear.

“You can prepare for endless different scenarios,” Mr.Swafford said. “But really you’ve just gotta do everything that you can control and be prepared to address situations that maybe you can’t.”

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We know you hate IDs, but…