Initiation of the IDs

A UAIS ID card belonging to the Senior Ashley Brys

Brigitte Manquen

A UAIS ID card belonging to the Senior Ashley Brys

Brigitte Manquen, Reporter

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With the new school year in 2016 came some new changes with the Heritage Junior High and UAIS administrative members. Mrs. Tow, who decided to go back to the classroom to teach math and spend more time with her family, was replaced by the new assistant principal, Mr. Voakes. Mr. Waak, who retired, was replaced by Mrs. Greene-Beebe, the new principal. As soon as they  stepped into the building, they were ready to make some adjustments.

After a few months of planning and agreements with Mr. Layson, Mr. Spear, Mrs. Fitzsimonds, and other staff members, Mrs. Greene-Beebe and Mr. Voakes officially decided to implement the ID’s into school policy. The policy is that each student and staff member must wear a lanyard with his or her photo ID attached to it.

UAIS Senior, Jessie Gougeon, wearing her new lanyard in the hallway (Source: Brigitte Manquen)

Some students weren’t pleased with this new policy because it seemed inconvenient, but Mr. Voakes and Mrs. Greene-Beebe had plausible reasoning. Mr. Voakes said that this policy was created because of a “safety concern.” Apparently after UAIS students were leaving the building at the end of the school day, Stevenson students would “roam the hallways and play in the gym.” It was difficult to recognize if students didn’t belong to the school because they blended in with the Heritage students and the UAIS students leaving. Mr. Voakes says that the ID’s are easy “identification for anybody who comes into the building.” Also, if a student or staff member isn’t wearing a lanyard, it is easy to determine who shouldn’t be allowed into the school.

Not only were random people entering the school, but Mr. Voakes and Mrs.Beebe thought ID’s were necessary because of “the uniqueness of the school”. Since there are middle school and high school students in one building it poses some problems because some 8th graders can pass for UAIS students and some UAIS students can pass for 7th and 8th grade students. According to Mr. Voakes, they decided to have the Heritage and UAIS students wear different lanyards “so it is easily distinguishable to understand who is who.” Mrs. Greene-Beebe and Mr. Voakes want to know if Heritage students are roaming the hallways during periods in which UAIS students are allowed, but Heritage students are not allowed.

In addition, Mr. Voakes thinks that wearing an ID prepares students for the future. He says that when you “leave high school everybody is expected to wear IDs at college” and “most jobs require a picture ID too.”

Implementing the ID policy was not made to aggravate the Heritage and UAIS students. Mr. Voakes and Mrs. Greene-Beebe’s primary concern when they became staff members at Heritage Junior High was to initiate changes to improve the schools learning environment. Mr. Voakes, Mrs. Greene-Beebe, and other staff members agreed that this change was necessary to prepare students for their future, but most importantly to provide safety within the school.

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