CCISD junior high students sport new ID cards
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Starting this month at the Copperas Cove Junior High and S.C. Lee Junior High campuses, students are now required to wear something that until now was only reserved for high school students: wearing an ID badge.
"We started this semester with student ID cards as another form of an added security measure for our campus as well as helping us out in a lot of different ways," said S.C. Lee principal Jimmy Shuck. “We’re able to identify students on grade level and team and identify students in or out of their assigned areas. It also helps our substitutes as they come on. They don’t necessarily know the kids, and they’ll be able to identify kids and take accurate attendance and so we can make sure when know where our kids are at, at all times.
“One of the things we do at junior high, is we’re allowing our students to keep their IDs in their lockers (overnight). This is an added responsibility that’s been added to them, and some of our kids would like to leave them in their ID cards in their locker so they don’t forget it. Others put it in with their band instrument, in their backpacks. We’re into our second week now of students. Right now, we have about 98 percent remembering their DI cars, and only about 2 to 3 percent who’ve forgotten it.”
During the school day, students must wear their ID cards at all times throughout the school day and can use the to get lunch in the cafeteria or check out books from the library.
Bethany Hamilton is an 8th grader at S.C. Lee and believes the responsibility of wearing an ID badge every day is a positive thing.
“I feel that keeping track of it is a good skill to teach in schools, especially in middle school, because not only is it preparing us for high school, but it’s preparing us for the basic skills we might need going into adulthood,” said Hamilton. "We can use it for all sorts of things, I know they are trying to work on some system to where we can use it for even checking our grades. I know that some of the elective teachers are also starting to use it for their own uses too. I feel like it’s a really creative use.”
Hamilton likes the safety element of the identifications, too.
“They do want these IDs to be able to identify who a student is, whether they’re in 8th grade, 7th grade, 6th grade, what team they are on, or even if they are even supposed to be in our school to begin with. I think it makes it easier and safer for everyone.”
Students who forget their IDs are issued a temporary ID sticker to wear on their shirts. It costs $2 for a replacement card.
Hamilton said she doesn’t mind the routine.
“I actually have had to wear an ID before. I was in a program over the summer at band camp, and we had to wear an ID very day. I find it easy. Some students might not, but it’s a skill you just have to build up.”
The process takes a few minutes, from taking a photo to making the badge itself.
Depending on the grade level, the badges have either a white, gray, or blue stripe across the top, with the badge oriented vertically or horizontally, depending on which team the student is a part of.
Angel Mateo is in the 7th grade and has a special trick, he said, for remembering to wear his badge every day.
“It actually is pretty easy to remember because I have special ways of remembering things,” Mateo said. “I have my favorite sweater that I like to wear. I put my badge on my desk and my favorite sweater on top of it. When I pick up my sweater, see my badge and remember to take my badge to school.”
He said one advantage to wearing the badge every day is at lunchtime, when he carries both his book and his lunch tray.
“I used to have to put my lunch down to put my number in. Now all I have to do is scan my ID and they can give me my lunch.”