Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I got your number

Students at my kids' school now have to wear ID badges around their necks at all times. This offers numerous advantages. Administrators can see at a glance when someone doesn't belong in the building. Teachers have an easier time remembering students' names, or yelling them out in the hallway, if they're written right there on the front of them. Plus, of course, now we can take advantage of that student ID discount at the movies. On the other hand, theft and loss of badges is going to be a problem; already, after a week, I heard of a kid who had his stolen from his gym locker. Kids who routinely forget their badges at home will be penalized, giving the behavior-challenged another hurtle to jump. Those signs around everyone's necks, teachers too, are a reminder that we no longer live in a world where you didn't have to lock school doors and account for everyone constantly. And though I'm thrilled to be able to scan ID badges under the bar-code reader in the library instead of making kids spell their names for me, it sort of makes me feel like I'm working at a supermarket, and the kids are packaged goods. Nothing but a number, baby! Wear it with pride.

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