Students at Berkeley High School (BHS) are required to carry their school ID card on them at all times as of January 3, 2022.
Dean of Students Claudia González sent an email to all BHS students, informing them of the new ID requirements on December 14, 2021. Under the new policy, students on campus may at any time be asked to show their student ID by administrators or safety officers, as an attempt to make the campus safer. The plan also aims to increase participation in class and prevent students from roaming the halls.
However, some students don’t think the plan will be effective at accomplishing these goals. “I don’t think the random checks are going to work,” said BHS student Adea Hansen-Whistler. “There are just too many students.”
One of the main reasons for the requirement is to limit trespassers from entering campus as they have in the past. On October 15, 2021, a student reported that two non-student adults came onto campus in pursuit of one particular student. BHS Principal Juan Raygoza wrote in an email the day of the incident that the adults were seen interacting with a group of students and that one of the adults flashed a gun.
BHS photography teacher Sam Matsumoto said the ID requirement makes her feel more safe on campus.
“I feel more comfortable knowing [about the ID requirement], even though there are definitely places where non-community members can get in without an ID,” she said. “I like the messaging that we do care who comes on campus.”
Regarding safety, Matsumoto also discussed off-campus lunch, where students are free to leave campus and there are open, unlocked gates.
The plan could also possibly combat the number of false fire alarms pulled. Despite her concerns around safety at BHS, Matsumoto questioned the feasibility of the plan. “It will only be effective if actually enforced,” she said.