By Liam Zolner, Contributor
Rapper Ice Spice takes a selfie with one of Payton’s old hall passes. The existing hall pass system will be upgraded using trackers in student IDs. (Photo created by Yoshi Mack).
The Payton administration has announced the adoption of a new contactless hall pass technology, utilizing new NFC chips in students’ IDs (similar to a Ventra card). According to the school administration, the new system is meant to provide a more efficient way of monitoring student movements and ensuring the premises’ security. The Payton administration also hopes that by tracking student whereabouts, bathroom vandalism will be reduced.
Students will be required to tap their IDs every time they enter and leave the classroom to track attendance and time absent from class, which the administration hopes will reduce truancy, increasing Payton’s rank and funding. Additionally, the measure promotes campus security as only authorized access to classrooms and the building is possible.
Complimentary bathroom trips will be limited to once per class, per week, with an additional facilities fee for any additional trips. Additionally, the Payton library will now be locked behind an ID-based paywall, with entry fees charged to students’ Aspen accounts. Fee waivers will be available upon request. To sign out for the bathroom, teachers must scan a student’s ID and submit a digital hall pass. Portable readers will be provided to security personnel to ensure students in the hallways have a valid pass, or return them to the class they’re supposed to be in
The rollout of this system will coincide with the rollout of a new Selenium app, in case an ID is left at home or misplaced. Since the system will use the NFC technology present in most modern phones (the same tech that powers Apple Pay, Ventra on iPhone, etc), with IDs locked behind biometrics or a unique passcode, the security of the system will be ensured. It’s evident that this system will benefit the school’s security, finances, and facility greatly, but its implementation is not without concern.
Tracking students’ whereabouts at all times may pose a privacy risk, especially for at-risk students who need to meet with their counselors. Many students see the implementation of this system as a violation of their basic needs, prohibiting them from relieving themselves as medically necessary.
Though the Payton administration has assured families that the system will respect the privacy and unique needs of students and will be a “net-positive” for the Payton community, that hasn’t stopped the ACLU from getting involved. A spokesperson for the organization stated that “This violation of basic civil liberties, alongside students’ physical and mental health needs, is frankly disgusting. We at the ACLU could not just stand by and allow students to be disadvantaged by paywalls and experience daily violations of their rights.”
The Payton administration is adamant that the system is safe, however, and will continue with their plans to implement the system. Students should prepare to be introduced to the new technology at the start of next school year.
This article is satire.