The Altoona Area School District's new policy of requiring all students to wear their school identification around their necks is a common-sense measure that despite initial balking from some students and parents in time will become as normal to the students as tieing their shoes.
The ID badges, attached to lanyards students in the junior and senior high schools are to wear around their necks or face detention, may cause some consternation for students, but the benefits for the adults charged with their education outweight the concerns.
According to Altoona Area School District numbers, there are 1,582 students in the senior high with another 1,823 in the junior high. With such numbers of students, the lanyards make identifying students easier for faculty and staff.
At worst, the identification badges would help first responders and police identify students should a crisis erupt on campus. More commonly, the badges will help faculty and staff keep tabs on who is who, especially when discipline becomes an issue and identification is important.
Hopefully, the ID badges will deter students from other districts that school officials said sometimes infiltrate the student body for fun or anyone else inclined to try to blend in as a student when in actuality they are not.
Altoona students might think it's unfair, but wearing identification badges is so common place among employers, whether in the private or public sector, that they best get used to the idea.
Whether it be at a hospital, a factory or a corporate office, ID badges are worn by adults every day without much fuss, so asking students at a public school to do likewise shouldn't be out of the question.
If anything, the ID badges provide a shared experience that students, rich or poor, share. No matter what kind of clothes they can afford or whose name is on the label, they all have to wear their ID badges.
At one time, on most college campuses, freshman were required to wear beanies so upperclassmen could, by sight, know their lowly status.
If students think the lanyards and IDs ruin the look of their outfits and throw off their senses of fashion, they should feel relieved the "beanie" tradition isn't still alive and well.