Students at two high schools will wear photo IDs

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 19, 2001

[10/19/01]The approximately 2,300 students in the two local public high schools will be required to carry bar-coded, photo identification badges on campus beginning in January.

Vicksburg Warren School District trustees voted Thursday to proceed with a plan presented by school representatives. If the plan is successful it could move to the junior high schools in August.

Implementation of the badge system will cost roughly $8,000 for card printers and software, said Gail Kavanaugh, a teacher at Vicksburg High.

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“It’s a very important issue to us because of the safety consequences,” said Vicksburg High Principal Donald Taylor.

“At Vicksburg High we’re so accessible that there are many times we have to stop someone walking down the hall and say are you a student here?'” Taylor said. “It is not just an issue to have students wearing ID badges, but an issue of students being safe in their own school.”

The badges will be used to keep records in the cafeteria and the library. Taylor added that the badges could possibly be used for identification on buses and in homerooms.

School staff members are already required to wear identification badges.

“The main issue to me is just conditioning people to wear them,” Superintendent Donald Oakes said. “It’s not foolproof in any shape, form or fashion. . . but I have no problem with the reasoning behind them.”

The badges would contain computer information on the students, and would be usable year to year, until they wear out. Taylor admitted that issues still remain about the practical use of the badges, such as badge replacement and the possibility of fake cards surfacing.

“It’s not going to be something that’s going to work overnight,” Taylor said. “It’s something we’ll have to train our kids to do.”

In other matters the school board:

Accepted donations from Staffing Solutions, LTD, $150 to Vikki Tubman’s first-grade class at Beechwood Elementary School, and Target, $31.94 to South Park Elementary for math supplies.

Approved an extra $3,184 for the Title 1 amendment project, a project required by federal law in order to have equality between girls’ and boys’ sports programs. The money was added to the currently approved $1,979,016 set aside for the program.

Approved the use of $3,200 to hire four assistant soccer coaches in the high schools.

Approved a Vicksburg Intermediate School request for $4,575 for the purchase of a scanner.

Approved a request by Warrenton Elementary for $2,982.42, provided by the Barksdale Reading Grant, to purchase reading materials.

Approved amendments to the 2001-02 school budget.

Approved recommendations for substitute teacher positions.

Approved out-of-state travel for various teachers and students.