Lanyards: A Necessary Evil?

A Pile of Distinctive Gray Lanyards
A Pile of Distinctive Gray Lanyards
Jeremy Fung

Lanyards are a hot topic at Hinsdale South. Student complaints, detentions handed out, and to some, a seemingly iron-fisted employment of them. How necessary really are these lanyards? Is the positive intention really there? What’s the perfect solution? 

We all know the true reason we all have to wear our lanyards: if there’s ever an intruder, we’ll know the intruder is the person that isn’t wearing a lanyard. Simply said, the school staff doesn’t know everyone in the school, and for safety and identification, lanyards are the answer the school has come up with. Also, according to Dr. Vannoy, our Director of Deans, the lanyards also prepare us for the world after school, where we will need to be responsible for our own IDs. 

This year, the system for temporary IDs changed to sticker IDs. This gets rid of the lanyard around the neck, which is supposed to be the quick-identifying feature of a Hinsdale South student. Let’s say there was an active shooter. If a student has a sticker as a temporary ID that day, a faculty member or emergency personnel won’t see a lanyard on that student and will assume that he or she does not belong. This begs the question: does the school really care about us having a visible lanyard if they made a switch that gets rid of the physical lanyard altogether?

The switch to stickers was not an absent-minded decision. With the temporary lanyards last year, “[some] students accumulated numerous temporary lanyards that could have been given away or used inappropriately creating a […] safety issue,” Vannoy said.

So what’s the perfect compromise of these lanyards? Obviously students think they’re uncomfortable, but that just isn’t an excuse valid enough to overthrow the safety concern. It’s also clear that the school is making decisions based on the problems of previous years, but there doesn’t seem to be a perfect solution, especially when it comes to temporary IDs. If we use a physical lanyard, kids keep them, if we use stickers, there won’t be a visible lanyard around the neck in case of an emergency. In reality, the school administration is giving us a safe solution to a safety threat we don’t want to think of.

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