ID checks cause overcrowded entrances


Photo by Ely Snow

Security guard Marlene Smith checks a student’s ID upon entry at the auditorium entrance. The entrance, which is located near the student lot, has become one of the most crowded entrances in the school.

It’s 7:40 a.m. Class starts in five minutes. You rush to the door in order to make it to class on time. “Have your ID badges ready!” a security guard yells. There’s a crowd surrounding the door. You sigh as you dig through your bag. Once you finally find your badge, the late bell rings. You receive another tardy due to an overcrowded entrance.

Due to a new policy, students must present their IDs before entering the building at all entrances. Only three entrances are accessible in the morning: the main entrance, the cafeteria and the athletic circle. Since there are so many students entering the building, these entrances are often overcrowded in the morning.

The policy was implemented to make the school safer, by ensuring that every student who enters the building attends WJ.

“I think that it has made it a lot safer. Last year we had a few students that came in that didn’t belong here. As of right now, we haven’t had any students who don’t belong here,” head of security Anthony Williams said.

Since every student’s ID has to be checked before entering the building, entrances have become overcrowded. Some students have reported being late to first period due to the jammed ID checks.

“I got stopped multiple times on my way into school and [was] asked for my ID in the hallway right before classes started, therefore it made me late,” junior Healey Morgan said.

The security team acknowledges the crowded entrances, but believes the safety and security of the school are more important.

“It can be a little overbearing. It’s a little overcrowded, but I think it helps,” Williams said.

Although safety is crucial, many students are frustrated by how long it takes to get inside the building. Some believe the policy does more harm than good.

“I don’t think it’s worth it. It just makes everyone more late to class than they already are. And also, if you really want to identify someone you can just ask them to show them their ID, instead of having to do it to everyone,” senior Nick Carneiro said.

An already stressful situation isn’t made any better by hostility. Morgan’s experience with the security guards was less than satisfactory when she was late due to the ID checks.

“They weren’t really nice. They were pretty aggressive,” Morgan said.

Much of the overcrowding is due to students not having their ID badges ready before walking up to the doors. Williams offers advice to students to get them to class quickly and efficiently.

“Keep the badge on your neck and visible so that we can see it. That way when you come in, you’re just walking straight in so we don’t have to say, ‘take it out’ and they have to dig in their bag or their pockets,” Williams said.