Why, Wilson?

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Why, Wilson?

Graphic by Margaret Heffernan

Graphic by Margaret Heffernan

Graphic by Margaret Heffernan

Amelia Bergeron

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We wait to go through security, and then are late to class. We wait to get our schedule changed. We wait hungrily for the school lunch. We wait anxiously for teachers to put in our grades. We Wilson students are a patient bunch. But the worst line of all—the one we just don’t deserve—is when we have to wait to swipe our IDs in the morning. Just… why, Wilson?

The system was established at Wilson 15 years ago by current 12th Grade Assistant Principal Gregory Bargeman. Luke C. Moore High School, a DCPS high school in Northeast DC that focuses on providing an educational setting for students who struggle in traditional school environments, was the first school to adopt this system before Wilson’s administration decided to bring it here.

The administration initially implemented it as a safety measure. “It was a way of keeping students that were not Wilson students out of the building. We had a problem, back then, of students coming from private schools, spending the day here at Wilson… and we didn’t know about it,” Bargeman said. In the beginning, IDs were given to all students, so they could swipe in proving that they went to Wilson.

There are five machines in total in the building consisting of laptops, numeric keypads, and places to swipe cards. When students swipe their DC One Cards or type in their student ID numbers, the machines record their time of entry. If the late bell has already rung, the computer is supposed to print out tardy passes for students. The machines are supposed to be operating everyday, but when they are not working it is usually a technical issue with the program.

Bargeman believes that the system is working well for the needs of Wilson, but he thinks the process could be more efficient if iPads were used instead of laptops because the technology would be quicker and more updated. Moreover, he asserts that the system is effectively doing its job of keeping students safe in the building. “I think without it, we have no way of monitoring what students come into the building, which is a safety issue,” he said.

So the next time you’re annoyed because you have to wait in another line when you’re trying to make it to class on time, remember that the procedure is there for a reason: to keep out Walls kids.