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Roanoke City Schools to enhance safety with proposed student ID badges

Safety is top of mind for Roanoke City Schools, especially after a school year filled with threats, and safety concerns. That’s why they’re looking into student ID badges.

“I think that once it’s fully operational and everyone understands the system, it will enhance the other safety measures we have in place,” School Board Chair Dr. Eli Jamison said.

10 News gave Jamison a call to see how she thinks these ID badges will help with day to day operations.

“It will also make our student’s lives simpler. Because now all of a sudden with one card everything from the library to buses to going to the cafeteria check out line to eventually signing into their school games, will all be linked to one thing,” she said.

The sample cards have your student’s picture, first name, and a bar code.

Every ID badge also has a bar code on the front, and when a student scans it, it will take them to a learning platform.

10 News wanted to speak with a parent to see how they feel about this potential change, so we sat down with Roanoke City Council of PTA President Jessica Blandy.

“I love all the possibilities, but the safety has been the sticking point for all the parents I’ve talked to,” Blandy said.

Part of that safety comes in the form of a partnership with Zum, the new transportation company.

Jamison tells us the hope is students can scan to get on and off buses, giving parents a better sense of their location.

And Blandy said that’s what sold her.

Jamison tells us from a parent’s point of view, she understands concerns over the added responsibility.

“As a parent myself, I do recall trying to help my kid keep track of one more thing, which is something they’re probably not looking forward to, but I do hope that the benefits from safety and convenience in all sorts of circumstances will outweigh any cons,” she said.

Blandy said the badges will help her feel more comfortable sending her daughter to school.

“We let some of that go, and in letting that go, I think we need to make decisions that are for the greater safety of everyone,” Blandy said.

So far, this pilot has been tested at RCPS+ at the Lucy Addison and Fallon Park locations.

The school board will hear a full presentation Tuesday about how that pilot went, and what the next steps would look like if they wanted to roll this program out long term.

Source: WSLS News 10

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