HS Administration Implements New ID Card Rule

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HS Administration Implements New ID Card Rule

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Towards the end of last school year, HS administration decided to more strictly enforce their ID card rule and asked all students to display their cards to the security guards whenever they enter the UNIS campus.

“This rule has been enforced for many years, it just hasn’t been enforced that well,” says Carl Strefford, the Head of Security and Operations.

There are various reasons why the HS administration decided to enforce this rule more strictly at the beginning of the year.

Scott Schaffner, the HS principal said that UNIS is accredited by the Council of International Schools, and it’s a requirement to have a system in place to ensure that the school knows who is on campus at all times.

A CIS officer also came to campus to talk to senior administration about improvements. “[The child safeguarding expert] was appalled at how loose our campus was, how anybody could just walk in and out, and how that could really put kids at risk,” Schaffner said.

The security company recently changed as well. The new company decided to prioritize monitoring who enters and exits school, and if he or she is a danger to students. Parents, staff, and visitors were asked to bring their ID badges to school. This then brought about the issue of appearances and fairness. Many HS students already look like adults, which means that it is sometimes hard to distinguish an adult or a non-UNIS student from a UNIS student.

It is the security guard’s job to check for everyone’s ID cards whenever they enter campus.

“Sometimes the security guards know that you’re a student by face, they see you every day, and they might be nice about it [and not ask to check],” said Schaffner. “So, in some ways, that’s a big challenge because we don’t want to tell people not to be nice, but we also need to make sure we’re kind of enforcing this equally to everybody.”

When asked if he thought this rule is worth the small inconveniences, Grade 9 student Benjamin Mtonya said it definitely is in terms of safety, but it is also inconvenient when people don’t have their ID cards with them because they forgot.

“We spent 14 years of not doing it, and then suddenly in a space of 2 months, we enforce it 100%. It’s an education process,” Strefford said.

“Once it becomes something very familiar to us, it’ll just become [a] routine,” said Sandra Schneiderman, a HS Humanities teacher. “[ID cards] are very efficient in terms like borrowing books and getting food, so I think that parents can feel very secure that their children are safe and that we care about them,” she said.

Shaffner said, “We’re not trying to make your lives more difficult…we need HS students to realize that this is not about anything other than what any good international school does…it is about keeping kids safe.”

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