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CT law requires student ID to include emergency contacts

The+2022-2023+student+ID+cards+%28left%29+include+the+daily+rotation+schedule+on+the+back.+For+the+2023-2024+student+ID+cards+%28right%29%2C+this+information+is+replaced+by+four+emergency+contacts%2C+including+the+suicide+and+crisis+lifeline.
Photo by Ava Cordella ’24
The 2022-2023 student ID cards (left) include the daily rotation schedule on the back. For the 2023-2024 student ID cards (right), this information is replaced by four emergency contacts, including the suicide and crisis lifeline.

Student ID cards for the 2023-2024 school year now include four emergency contacts on the back, following a new law effective July 1, 2023, passed by the Connecticut General Assembly.

The law states that student identification cards must include the 988 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number. Staples student’s ID cards include the 988 “Suicide and Crisis Lifeline,” as well as 211 for “Police/Fire/Ambulance,” 211 for “Mobile Mental Health and Community Resources,” and a QR code for “Westport together Hotlines and Info.”

“I’m happy to see the change, because I think it’s a good way to get the resources out there,” Student Support Specialist Ally Follett said.

In previous years, ID cards have had the “Staples Daily Rotation Schedule” printed on the back. 

“I think it’s very beneficial,” Victoria Bazrako ’24 said. “[Students] know they have one spot where they can locate help if they need it, which is better than the schedule because most people just look at Saturn.”

Emergency service resources encompass various issues that students may encounter beyond the school environment. Still, as a new initiative, Follet recognizes a few flaws.

I always encourage people to reach out, don’t let the fear stop you from reaching out.

— Student Support Specialist Ally Follett

“911, in my world, we call it Grand Central. And it’s just really, really busy,” Follet said. “You’re put on a lot of waiting lists and it could just be a game of phone tag, which could be really discouraging for someone.”

As of July 16, 2022, the suicide and crisis lifeline changed from a regular 10-digit number to an easy-to-remember 3-digit number, 988. Follet is optimistic that this will make the resource more accessible. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the lifeline does not always provide comprehensive solutions to individual issues.

“A lot of people don’t know that if you were wanting to disclose certain things, because sometimes people will call those lines for a crisis, but not so much the suicide and where maybe emergency personnel don’t have to be involved,” Follet said. “ I worry that people may not be fully open, or maybe more open than they wanted to and will have involuntary hospitalization or something like that.”

Follet believes the most beneficial addition is the QR code for “Westport together Hotlines and Info.”

“What’s good about the Westport together hotlines is it’s good for families,” Follet said. “So say you’re someone who may be a family member who is impacted by mental health or substance use or something like that.” 

Still, Follet is optimistic about the addition of emergency contacts.

“I always encourage people to reach out, don’t let the fear stop you from reaching out,” Follet said. “But also, I believe that people should be informed and know what they’re calling before they call and exactly what could result in that. And just know that there are alternatives to the use. But this is a good start and I’m happy to see this.”

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About the Contributor
Ava Cordella ’24, Associate Managing Editor
When Ava Cordella ’24 joined Inklings as a sophomore, she didn’t know that the club would become her in-school family. Now, as Associate Managing Editor, Inklings has given her the opportunity to connect with students across all grades and backgrounds.  “I don’t play a school sport, so I really value the sense of community that Inklings provides,” she said.  When Cordella is not at Inklings layout, you can likely find her at the ballet studio. “Journalism is similar to ballet,” Cordella said. “[Together], they’ve taught me discipline and the importance of showing up, whether it be to layout or rehearsal.”

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