Op-ED: The Addition of Lanyards to PMHS

Hannah Steinberg, News Editor

At Pelham Memorial High School for the 2022-2023 school year, many new school policies were instituted, namely concerning student life and technology. One of the most noticeable differences this year was the lanyards distributed on the first day that are color-coded by grade. These lanyards are intended to be worn by students throughout the school day and shown to security when they exit or enter the building. There is a lot of controversy surrounding these lanyards and about whether or not they are serving their safety purpose.

In my opinion, I think there are more cons to the lanyards than there are pros; however, the lanyards definitely increase safety and ensure only Pelham students or identified guests are inside the building. In wake of recent school safety concerns nationwide, I understand the rationale behind introducing such a policy. However, in reference to the past school safety crises that have occurred at Pelham in the past year, considering they were a matter of threatening insiders, is this the most productive solution? Yes, it may help identify students and ensure that they aren’t strangers, but if the students have weapons or violent intentions, what good do these lanyards really do? In the grand scheme of things, there are more interior threats than those from outsiders so I don’t think that this is the best method to combat endangering school violence. 

Many faculty members have said that they enjoy seeing faces in the school and identifying the grade of the student from the lanyard since it helps them build familiarity with the PMHS student population. I do agree with this, but as time has gone on since the start of the school year, many students have disregarded this policy and very few continue to wear the lanyards during the duration of the school day. Through personal experience and conversations with others, I have found that the neglect is mainly due to the fact that the lanyards aren’t aesthetically pleasing and can be nuisances to wear. My lanyard always gets caught and pulled, making it simply easier to neglect wearing it.

Additionally, these lanyards are easy to forget during the day or in the mornings. Many are forced to go back home just to find these IDs, which results in lateness to class and missing precious education. This also adds to the stress and mental load placed on busy high school students.

I think there is a more effective and innovative solution to the issue of safety in our schools, but in terms of identification in the future, it would be ideal to have IDs that attach to phones or backpacks. This way they do not annoy students to wear and are not easily forgotten, while also determining if an individual is a student and their grade level.