Aug 29, 2023 - News

New Portland school ID requirements coming this year

a photo of an ID badge on a lanyard with a waving hand emoji printed on it

Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

New rules requiring middle and high school students attending Portland Public Schools to wear identification badges at all times while on campus will roll out this school year, which starts Tuesday.

Why it matters: The new requirement is part of an ongoing multifaceted plan to upgrade security after a number of threats and shootings — some fatalnear schools or involving PPS students last year.

Driving the news: PPS alerted parents and students before school started, but the "timing of this new requirement will vary school to school," according to the note sent to parents.

Context: The new ID rule is one of 13 recommendations made by a task force examining security that PPS superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero convened last school year.

What they're saying: "Is any one thing going to stop violence? No," regional superintendent Margaret Calvert told Axios.

  • "The question is: How do these work in concert?"

Other recommendations include:

  • Stockpiling portable emergency kits.
  • Testing a "roving weapons detection system" at high school events.
  • Reimagining the school district's partnership with police, after city and school officials ended the presence of armed officers in schools three years ago.

Meanwhile, Calvert says enforcement is not intended to be punitive, but lack of a badge would spur "a conversation" with an adult at the school.

  • "It's another opportunity for adults to get to know kids," she said.

Reality check: Some schools already required students to wear IDs, but in practice only checked badges at the door.

What we're watching: The roving weapons detection systems — essentially mobile metal detectors — are scheduled to be tried as a pilot program this fall.

  • About one-third of schools have upgraded intrusion alarms in place; all schools are supposed to have upgrades by the end of this school year.

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