ID policies aim to crack down on class cutting, students skeptical


Ellie Neuman

Students without a 5th, 6th or 7th period are expected to receive stickers for their ID cards from the counseling office, indicating that they are permitted to leave.

Ellie Neuman, Staff Reporter

When students returned to classes after winter break on Wednesday, Jan. 4, the administration sent a school-wide email announcing a new sticker policy for leaving campus. Students without a 5th, 6th or 7th period are now expected to obtain a sticker for their ID card that indicates they have one of those periods off, the email said. To properly enforce this policy, the email told parents, students must remember to carry their ID at all times. 

According to Assistant Principal Aimee Malcolm, there have been recent increases in the number of students cutting class. Although the ID rules may seem unnecessary, administrators hope they will keep students in class and on campus. In the first weeks of the second semester, Malcolm has noticed minimal backlash from students in response to these policies.

“Students have been pretty great about just going and getting their stickers,” Malcolm said. “I think that it’s becoming just sort of a common practice now where you just pull out the ID on your way out, and you’re set to go.”

However, it is difficult to tell if this policy will actually solve the school’s ditching problem, or if it simply complicates the exit process for students who were never trying to cut class.

“I feel like [the policies are] a little hard to enforce because it creates more of a hassle and I feel like it might just create more issues,” junior Jack Geraghty said.

The problem isn’t limited to afternoon classes. Administration has also noticed increases in students marked absent during flex time. Often, it is unclear whether students cut class or simply forget to use their ID cards to scan in. By requiring students to carry their ID cards with them at all times on campus, admin hopes to maximize the amount of students scanning into flex, ensuring their attendance.

To encourage students to follow the new policies, Burlingame held its first reward day on Friday, January 12th, where anyone with zero unexcused absences could receive free pizza at lunch.

In addition to flex time, students are also required to use their ID cards to scan in when they visit the library or check out a book. This allows the administration to keep track of who is utilizing school resources, and allows the librarians to monitor how many students are in the library at any given time.

Earlier in the year, the  librarians would type in  IDs if students forgot their cards. However, as more and more students grew accustomed to leaving their cards at home, the process became inefficient for both the librarians and other students. 

“Sometimes during lunch, the line gets super long,” said Maurine Seto, the library media technician. “And so everybody typing in a number just takes longer.. and by the time we are done typing their numbers, the bell rings… versus, if I can just get everybody in here and spend more time in the library.”

Seto is also concerned about accidentally typing in the wrong student ID when students forget their cards, and believes ID cards assure 100% accuracy.

“We just want to ensure that we are adhering to our school policies.. that students who are supposed to be in class learning are in class learning,” Malcolm said.

The library recently began denying any students who forgot their card, hoping to increase efficiency and ensure there are no errors in typing the correct number.

“It’s really to protect the students so that we’re not checking out the wrong book to you,” Seto said, “Or we’re not saying that you’re here when you’re not there.”

“If we type in the number incorrectly, another student’s name will pop up,” student success coordinator and leader of the after school library program Leslie Luna-Escoto said. “In an event of safety, if a student is supposed to be here, and they’re not actually here, we’re giving incorrect information to parents.”

If students forget their ID card, they are supposed to go to room A 134 to print out a new one. Many students find this policy frustrating when they can much more easily type in their number.

“I usually have [the ID card] on me so it hasn’t affected me as much,” Senior Clara Porto said, “But sometimes when I forget it at home, and I want to go to the library, I have to go all the way to print it, and it’s a little annoying.”

It remains unclear whether or not enforcing stricter rules will solve the school’s attendance problems or simply create inconvenience and frustration for students.