Lanyards Required Amidst Safety Concerns

     Once upon a time, a moat was the most effective way to protect the castle within, but in current years stained with school shootings, the Fenwick administration has consistently increased security.

     Alarms have been installed on exits, security cameras have improved in number and quality, and, as of last year, hall passes have been instituted for all students leaving the classroom during school hours, but this year, it’s personal: each student and member of the faculty must wear a lanyard at all times, displaying their ID.

     The lanyard must be worn for the entirety of everyone’s time within the school building. In addition, no one can decorate the lanyard with pins or other materials.

     Failure to adhere to these rules will result in detention.

     The lanyards come in response to a number of intruder-related incidents in schools across America over the past few years. It is one of the newest additions to prevent events such as these in our Fenwick community.

     Many institutions, including other schools, our hospitals, and government buildings, already employ the use of lanyards, so it is not shocking that Fenwick has followed suit; lanyards have proven increase security and deter intruders.

     Still, upon hearing of the news, voices of students could be heard through social media, some expressing that they understand the motivation behind the lanyards, but believe the measure is drastic and unnecessary. For some, it was just another rule added to a lengthy handbook by which students have to abide.

     Students often make the claim that the iconic Fenwick uniform should be enough to identify its students, but administrators don’t want to risk an intruder entering the premises.

     “The safety and security of our students always is our first and foremost priority,” said President Father Richard Peddicord. “They truly are our most valuable resource, and we need to do whatever it takes to protect them when they venture across our ‘moat and drawbridge’ from the secular world.”

     The addition of the lanyard came with a number of other security enhancements around Fenwick, including bulletproof glass surrounding our reception desk, updated cameras, and background checks for all visitors through the scanning  of driver’s licenses.

     The timing of this risk-prevention provides an interesting coincidence, as the notorious orange lanyard that all students from Oak Park/River Forest High School had been required to wear has been removed from their handbook at the beginning of this semester. Instead, the students who attend school just three blocks from Fenwick will abide to Fenwick’s previous policy: one must have the ID on one’s person at all times.

     In essence, the cross-town rivals of Oak Park have traded ID policies.