According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 18% of high schools require students to wear ID badges. The numbers get worse when we look at middle schools (13%) and elementary schools (6%). There are several reasons why we find this surprising.
Safety. Photo ID badges are considered a security industry best practice for large facilities. When ID badges are required, staff can identify students with a single glance. This is especially important for emergency personnel, who are unfamiliar with students.
Detect unauthorized visitors. When everyone is required to wear a badge, it becomes easier to identify potentially dangerous situations and intruders.
ID badges are affordable. 90% of schools utilize security cameras. And while we are entirely in favor of security cameras, we recognize that cameras are expensive. It is cost prohibitive to place a camera in every classroom and hire a team to manage surveillance operations. ID badges, on the other hand, are inexpensive, especially when purchased in bulk.
ID badges can be used to purchase lunch. Students with free or reduced lunch will feel more comfortable swiping a card and their peers will not be able to identify income differences. Additionally, parents will be confident that students lunch money is going where intended.
Badges become library cards. Easily eliminate outdated borrowing methods with an ID badge. Popular library books and tools can be tracked. This data can inform staff on what materials might be needed for the future.
Event access. Instead of printing free tickets, allow students to use their ID badges to gain access to events. Sport, theater, and music events can be organized using student ID badges.
Access control. With ID badges, staff will not be required to attend every school entrance. ID badges let students to enter the building freely. School access can be controlled remotely and access hours can be set and changed with a few clicks. Additionally, access control allows staff to track truancy more easily.
Interestingly, most schools (70%) require faculty to wear IDs at all times. Why shouldn’t students be afforded the same protections as faculty? With so many different options available for badging, we highly recommend that schools implement an ID badge program.