Safer arrangements, student attitudes: the pros, cons of new ID policy

Megan Burns, Print Editor-In-Chief

  A new policy has hit MHS, and students aren’t the most pleased with it– even though it can benefit their safety.

  On Monday, Feb. 6, MHS administration implemented a new system for lunch periods. 

  “The new lunch policy states that students must display their student IDs or something that indicates that they are attending the correct lunch period,” Security Director Fred Kliora said. “Students may only enter through the commons and can only exit through the side doors (adjacent to Door #5).” 

  Kliora stated that the policy was implemented due to observations of students skipping classes. 

  “We were observing students [remaining] in the cafeteria for multiple lunch periods instead of attending class,” Kliora said. “The cafeteria is already crowded enough without additional people inside that should not be there.”

  With this change, the number of students in the cafeteria dropped: both from students no longer allowed to sit around and skip, and from more students going out for lunch to avoid the new arrangement. 

  Many students have shared with teachers and peers that this policy is “bad” and a waste of time, but there are some benefits to it. 

  “There are many pros to this policy,” Mike Souza, assistant principal of operations said. “The big two that have had an immediate impact are [that the] cafeteria is not as crowded, [which] creates a safer environment in the cafeteria, and students who were skipping class to stay for an extra lunch are now in their assigned classes.”

  Souza also noted that there are cons to the timing of implementation, though.

  “One of the challenges of this policy is that it is difficult to change behaviors in the middle of the semester,” Souza said. “It is always easier to start off with a new process at the beginning of a school year or [the] beginning of a semester.”

  Yes, having a routine disrupted either months or years into your time at MHS isn’t ideal, but needing some version of your ID on hand isn’t the worst thing in the world. However, the change of scanning in through one door and only being allowed to leave through the side doors can cause issues for people getting to class. 

  The sudden increase in traffic in the commons makes it difficult for students to get through during the passing period. 

  “[The new policy] makes it more annoying to go to lunch, or even just go through the commons, which is already crowded enough without a line of people waiting to show their ID,” Dylan Bussion, sophomore said. 

  Bussion also stated that a con to the new policy is “how inconvenient the ID checking is,” and how the line to get checked into the lunchroom is “inconsistent and often extends toward the middle of the commons, blocking traffic.”

  Part of this new policy has gotten good and bad reactions: the barrier for the lunchline. 

  Bussion noted that it “prevents confusion and makes it harder for people to sneak into the lunch lines.” 

  However, others have found it causes too much traffic.

  “I normally go past the [girl’s] locker room to get to my art class and the traffic that the divider has caused is very frustrating, especially when I’m trying to get to class on time,” Junior Emma Cohn said. “I have to push through both lunch students and students coming from the girl’s locker room to get to a class that I was able to get to easily when there wasn’t someone checking to make sure the students who have a 4th-period lunch are going to the lunchroom.”

  There are issues that need to be worked out in order for this policy to please everyone, whether it be the new increase in traffic or other concerns (like students ditching in places other than the cafeteria). Administrators are trying their best to increase attendance and make the school safer.

  Souza said that “anytime we make a change like this, the decision is always based on what is best for [the] students.”