Using lanyards for identification or protection?


Ashley Quinones

MCHS students have to use lanyards for identification during school.

Friday, November 26, during seminar class, we all got purple lanyards with the words MCHS @ SAC written on them. Many students just accepted the lanyards without a second thought, but some didn’t understand why we were suddenly required to wear them. 

The main reactions to knowing we had to wear lanyards are thinking it’s a good idea, not caring, or not agreeing with paying for the lanyard. Though, mostly everyone wondered why we had to suddenly wear them. The students understood that it was a serious matter considering that they even said if we lose our lanyards we have to pay $2 to get another one.

Freshman Angel Palacios said, “I think they are a good idea cause they don’t get in the way and they are pretty simple.” 

While a few other students, like freshman Yaditzel Carreon, didn’t mind having to use the lanyard, there are a few who didn’t feel the same about them at first. 

Junior Juan Alvarado was one of the students who had a negative opinion at first but later changed his mind. 

“At first I didn’t like the idea because for fashion sense it wouldn’t look good with the outfit, but I also tend to forget things so I might forget it at home, but once I thought about it some more it’s for our safety so I’m okay with it now,” said Alvarado.

Sophomore Joseph Lira was a bit of an opposite to Alvarado.

Lira said, “I first thought of it’s kinda smart to try to differentiate the people from SAC and Middle College. My opinions are changing; even though I keep the lanyard permanently on my jacket some people can actually get penalized for not bringing it when they lose it and they will have to pay for a replacement.”

Many students started thinking of various reasons as to why they suddenly made us use lanyards. It was unexpected as an anonymous sophomore said, “It was surprising. But now that I look more into it, it’s to keep us safe.”

Students think that it can be a positive thing and can have its benefits, but at the same time, the students who have been at MCHS for more than two years now don’t see why it was suddenly necessary. 

An anonymous junior said, “Having to pay two dollars for something I didn’t want. I was here for three years already and we didn’t need them. We just randomly ‘hey here are some lanyards wear them’ and now we are forced to.”

As a senior who has been going to MCHS for four years, Andy Guillen agrees with the anonymous senior. 

“I don’t think they are necessary. MCHS has been around for about 24 years and they just now implemented this? I just don’t like them. I understood why they want us to wear them,” said Guillen.

In the end, students have many mixed signals about the lanyards, but they mainly want to clarify the reason why they are suddenly being required to wear them. 

Who assigned lanyards 

Middle College has had a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Santa Ana since 1998. Yet, even though there is an MOU, they never specified what they wanted us to do. The contract changes every 3-5 years, but this year they changed it and did specify some information for MCHS – if you want to know any specific details you can read Cesar Flores’s article. There have been situations where a high school student has been involved or has had problems with a college student and/or professor, so SAC has asked if MCHS can wear a uniform. They have asked in the past years, but they have never forced MCHS to actually implement this rule. Not only would a uniform help keep us safe, but it would also help make the faculty’s job easier. 


Since the early 1900s uniforms have been implemented in schools as a way to even out the playing field and as a way to represent what school students go to. When everyone wears the same uniform, it is easier for security to know where the danger is because they will stand out. 

Image Connection states that using a uniform in the workplace is a way to identify who works there and who is a customer. In elementary, middle school, and even some high schools, students have to wear uniforms but they don’t like it because of how restrictive they are. But uniforms are used as a way to know who goes to what school so they can ensure student safety. Middle College has never implemented a rule about uniforms, but recently we have been assigning lanyards as a way to show we are MCHS students.  

Principal’s Thoughts

“That’s why you’re all wearing things that let us know you’re MCHS students so my guy knows who you are at all times,” said Voight. “Instead of having you guys wear school uniforms and then put on something that kind of makes you stand out too much, to the point where everybody would know. We want the good people to know you’re MCHS students that need to know to monitor you and keep you safe. We don’t want people knowing you’re MCHS students that would put you in harm’s way or harass you or give you a hard time so the lanyards seem like the perfect way to do that without putting too much attention on yourself.”

Voight expresses that when his father made him go to a Catholic school he had to buy the uniform, and he expressed how much he disliked it. The reason we don’t have to wear uniforms is that our principal kept us in mind. He came up with a way to protect us without having it put us in too much danger and keeping us and our freedom of what to wear in mind. 


Voight intends to identify who is an MCHS student so the MCHS staff can keep an eye on us but can there be any negatives to wearing the lanyards? They don’t stand out as much as a uniform would, but that isn’t to say that no one wouldn’t notice it. Is it a bad thing if a college student does notice it?  

An anonymous sophomore said, “They could take advantage of knowing we are minors.” Both Guillen and the anonymous senior agreed with this sophomore. 

“If there is someone specifically out to get a high school student. Like pedophiles then, we can be seen as minors and they could take advantage,” said Guillen.

Some students didn’t believe that the lanyards have that much of an effect on the people around the SAC campus. We still get approached by people and there is even the possibility of losing our lanyards and someone else grabbing them.

“Adult guys were still asking us youngsters or freshman to vote and things but when the guy told my friends and me if we wanted to vote even though we had our lanyards I found it kind of dumb since we aren’t of age,” said Carreon.

An anonymous junior said, “Students can lose them and drop them and a random person can see it and grab it.” 

As I was doing the interviews about four students mentioned that a negative to the lanyards is that they don’t look that nice. These students suggested changing the color to silver because silver is one of MCHS’s colors and looks “nicer.”

Guillen mentioned, “I feel like it wouldn’t have been much of a problem but they just don’t look good. The color and the material.”

“For fashion sense, it wouldn’t look good with an outfit. It might not match the colors you’re wearing,” said Alvarado.

Carreon said, “my first reaction was like ‘I don’t like the color,’ like it’s vibrant and all but I just really don’t like the color”

Are we safe? 

There are some dangers in being on a college campus because of how open the campus is. For example,  anyone can walk in as minors are taking college classes with multiple adults. There are always some dangers in school but are we safe here? One of the things that the MOU between SAC and MCHS has included is having our security. Having security doesn’t mean there will never be any dangers, but now we can feel even more protected than before, especially because we have SAC security as well.

Alvarado said, “I think there are some dangers. Like some college students might want to interact with some high school students here. For example at the student store, they might want to make conversation or they just might go up to you. When I’m with a big group I do feel safe but when I’m alone and some people just randomly come up to me then that can make me uncomfortable. I feel safe at the high school campus.”

“We are minors interacting with adults,” said an anonymous sophomore. “As of now, I feel safe, but there was a case recently where the guy touched a girl in the elevator. The lanyard is a procedure to keep us safe so they know we are minors in high school.”

“There is a possibility since you never know what can happen and it’s open so you never know. We have security now so it’s extra but I have always felt safe,” said an anonymous senior. 

Overall, students have felt safe being on the MCHS campus and a little less safe being on the SAC campus but thanks to the MOU agreement, we can have our security guard who focuses on MCHS students’ safety. 

Something that all students that I interviewed agreed on is that there should be a presentation during seminar class about various ways to stay safe. Either where we can find the security, what apps are available to us, and anything else that will help us keep safe. 

Emergency stand buttons are all over campus for students to use in case of an emergency (Ashley Quinones)

Keep this in mind

Mr. Voight and Security Guard Jose Frausto had a few things they wanted us students to keep in mind so we can be safe. 

Voight said, “I didn’t have you guys wear your IDs on them. I don’t want anybody to know your name. I don’t want some random guy or girl just to walk to you guys and be like, ‘Hi Scott,’ like no. I don’t want you to go outside of campus and do group projects with adults, or outside of school. Make sure you’re using the rave guardian app. On that phone it has quick dial security; it monitors your spot here on campus. It’s not tracking you as you go everywhere, but if you hit the emergency button it can track you from that emergency button and send people to help you. If at any time at night school, if you get out of class and you don’t feel comfortable walking to your class or anywhere you can call SAC security and they will walk you. During school hours, call the office and we will go get you. Stay where there is a lighted area and people. In January we should open an after school program where we will have a room open from 3-7 at night so kids can hang out there, do their homework, get support, or wait to do their night classes.”

“If you need me, I’m walking around. If you need to get in contact with me, you can notify your teachers I have a radio and they will contact me. For the females that are traveling please if you’re going to a class and you’re not in the MCHS area, and you have to cross across campus travel in groups, go with your friends if you feel uncomfortable. If someone is bothering you, immediately tell us. Anytime you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, report to us immediately,” said Frausto.