In continued efforts to increase security measures at the Bridgewater-Raritan High School, all students will be required to have their student IDs visible at all times beginning Jan. 31.
“Lots of students are supporting the idea, which I thought was very interesting,” Olivia Di Iorio, senior at the high school, said at Tuesday’s board of education meeting.
In a message to students Wednesday, BRHS principal Brett Charleston said the high school administration, superintendent, members of the board of education and police representatives from Bridgewater and Raritan determined this mandatory wearing of the IDs would be a positive security change in the wake of the Connecticut shooting.
“This is an open campus and it is important that those that belong on campus be identified immediately,” he said.
The requirement, Charleston said, will be in effect from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m, beginning Jan. 31. It will be a requirement for all students and staff in the building.
The only exceptions to the rule, Charleston said, will be for physical education classes, shop classes and evening events.
“During the winter months, students are required to wear their IDs on the outside of their jackets or sweaters,” he said.
Superintendent of Schools Michael Schilder said that any students currently needing a replacement ID will not be charged for it right now, and free lanyards will be provided for students wanting one to make it easier to wear the ID.
“We are getting everyone up to speed, so we are not charging right now if it is lost,” he said. “At some point, we’ll kick back in those charges, but right now we are not going to. We want to make this as easy as possible.”
Charleston said there will be a grace period at the beginning for those who forget to wear the ID for the first few weeks.
“After the grace period, students can accumulate up to four warnings,” he said. “After four, it will result in an administrative detention.”
As for staff, Schilder said, the district reissued the mandate for all staff to have IDs visible immediately after the Newtown shooting, and now all high school students will be required as well.
Charleston said this is a matter of improving safety at the high school.
“We have approximately 2,900 students and 300 staff members,” he said. “With such a large population and open campus, it takes all 3,200 of us to cooperate with the new ID policy as we strive to ensure a more safe and secure campus.”