School ID Policy Explained


Kellen Fenrich

Student ID card and lanyard

Abby Hahn, Staff Writer

It has been over five years since Friends Seminary first required faculty to wear their IDs, and for Upper school students to scan their IDs when entering or exiting the building. Throughout this school year, the administration began enforcing a recently created ID policy, established last year, requiring Upper School students to wear their IDs while on campus.


Because Friends Seminary is an open campus located in the city, students and adults are constantly entering and leaving the school’s campus. For years, the security team and administrators had discussed the possibility of implementing an ID policy. “It’s really a safety [issue for] a school that has an open campus policy for students and has so many different egresses –  it’s just about safety,” said Erin Mumford, the Assistant Head of Upper School and a member of the Computer Science faculty.


Mumford also explained that having students wear their IDs helps both security guards and teachers identify students who are traveling in and out of the buildings and ensure that they are members of the school community. “Today I think with all that I see going on [in] the country and the world, we kind of don’t know who we trust as far as who’s who. So if you don’t know someone, that’s why I think it’s good to have the ID [to know] that they belong here,” said Russell Dukes, a member of the facility and maintenance team.


While the ID policy is beneficial to the school’s safety system, it has created some new challenges for both students and security guards. Since the policy is relatively new and has only been enforced for less than a year, some students face challenges when adjusting to the requirement. “One of the challenges I have is that it is very easy to forget, and when you don’t have one, a lot of privileges are restricted. Also, when it is cold out, it is hard to always show your ID when you are wearing a big coat,” Francesca Hourihan ‘23 remarked. 


Until this March, students were required to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While masks created a much safer environment at school during the pandemic, they also concealed people’s faces, making it challenging to recognize them. Although some students do not enjoy wearing their IDs, security guard Richard Thomas, and Dukes explained that it becomes difficult to identify Friends students without them, especially when masked, and to enforce the policy when students choose not to wear their IDs. “They should follow the protocol. It helps prevent anyone who doesn’t belong in the school from entering,” said Thomas. 


Even though the mask mandate is lifted, Mumford hopes that this policy is here to stay, further explaining that it only benefits the school’s security and ensures safety for all members of the community on campus. “It can still be really tricky if somebody’s wearing a hat or a hood or something–or a whole group goes in at once, [the security staff is] responsible for keeping us safe and it can be a huge liability if they don’t have a way to easily identify kids.”