Students are made to retake student IDs after claiming false names or using props, costumes, or funny faces to create “funny ID photos”

Some students, thinking it would be “funny,” swapped identities with each other for the very last photo of their high school career or brought props and costumes to make the ordeal more amusing


Senior Samantha Bell shows off her student ID saying, “I’m just a senior who wanted to have a fun photo.”

As an attempt to make their senior year more memorable or amusing, some seniors participated in the tradition of dressing up in funny costumes or using props to make their student ID photos “funny” or “silly.” This has been an occurrence with every year of seniors, but this year, some students took it one step further.

Some students claimed names different than their own today during the infamous “student picture day” when they went to the auditorium to get their photo taken for their IDs and the yearbook. This led to inaccurate IDs being produced in which names did not match with faces on these new IDs.

Senior Isabella “Bella” Justice swapped names with senior Isabelle “Izzy” Cox. She said she did it because “our names were similar and I thought it would be funny.” The girls were later told to return to the auditorium and took correct photos instead. Justice said, “Sue [Derden] shredded my [funny] ID [after they found out we did the name switch] because she didn’t know what to do with it. She felt really bad but she didn’t know what to do.”

“It’s senior year, I thought it would be funny. It’s not going in the yearbook anyway,” said senior Caleb Domenico who switched names with Hector Contreras, another senior.

A faulty ID, featuring senior Caleb Domenico’s name but senior Hector Contreras’ photo.

It is true that many seniors choose to use a different photo, commonly known as “senior photos,” in the yearbook in place of their ID photos. This would stop the silly pictures from making an appearance in the yearbook, seemingly isolating their appearance to the IDs themselves.

The name swap lasted less than half a school day. It wasn’t long before the office was making announcements asking students to return to the auditorium to get their correct and accurate IDs.

During Mav20, teachers were asked to check every single student’s ID to verify that their name matched their photo. If they were in possession of a faulty ID, they were asked to make their way to the auditorium for a retake.

In a school-wide announcement over the intercom system, Principal Racheal Ayers expressed the importance of having an ID that matches your name. She called the inaccurate names and photos “problematic” and said that the ID itself is used for verification of identity in case of an off-site evacuation, especially since “we will be doing an off-site evacuation [soon],” and that it is used for “entrance into our building and other district buildings” across the St. Vrain Valley School District. She emphasized that “this is not a joke” and asked that all students whose name or picture did not match them on their student ID “make [themselves] available in the auditorium to redo [their] ID picture.”

Students who had used props and costumes to make “funny” photos were also asked to take new pictures.

Senior Alec Mueller says he was asked to do his photo “like three times” because they said it wasn’t good. “The first time, was because I had a McDonald’s cup in my hands, the second time because I smiled in a funny way, and the third time was a success when I smiled totally normal.”

Senior Samantha Bell said, “I tried so hard [to take my funny picture] and they wouldn’t let me. They were like, ‘Smile your real smile,’ and I was like, ‘This is my real smile.’” Her student ID may not have been as silly as she would’ve liked it, but it was better than nothing to her. “I’m pretty happy I got to keep my funny one.”

Senior Samantha Bell shows off her student ID saying, “I’m just a senior who wanted to have a fun photo.”

“I’m just a senior who wanted to have a fun photo,” she said about the whole thing.

Senior Gabe Castanon recounted his time in the auditorium trying to get his funny photo.

“The photographers got very angry [with students for bringing props for silly pictures] because admin told them no funny pictures this year and we had to be ‘professional seniors’ because it was our photo for attendance and for college prep. They said no props, but after the photographers realized how many seniors had props and silly pictures they let it slide. But then admin called anyone who had a funny picture to get it retaken.”

Senior Gabe Castanon shows the photo he had originally taken for his ID.

Attendance Clerk Rachel Salaz said that there were roughly 15-20 people “that we know of” who took these silly pictures or swapped names and had to retake their pictures and that “it was a mixture of seniors and juniors.”

“They were milling around in the commons about it and someone went around to see what was going on and they saw that names weren’t matching pictures. Some [students] were sent down to the auditorium from here in the office; some were called in class it was a divide and conquer among the admin to see who could get the right IDs.

Castanon said, “You had to give them your old ID, you had to shred it, and, after you shredded it, you had to take a new picture and if you didn’t give it back you had to pay $5 to get a new ID
They said they don’t want [funny school pictures] happening anymore and we had to be ‘professional seniors’ and ask permission next time.”

“We’re trying to confiscate [the bad IDs], by making the kids pay $5 to keep their old IDs,” Principal Ayers said. “It’s expensive to produce IDs. When we produce one we do that free of cost because we know that that’s a necessity, but the funny ones aren’t.”

Castanon paid the fee to keep his ID. He didn’t understand why the seniors couldn’t keep their funny photos. “That’s why we take senior photos: so the funny pictures don’t go in the yearbook. If it was that big of a deal they could’ve just used our pictures from last year.”

Trevin Haines, another senior, said, “They let me take [my funny picture] but they said I couldn’t use it for my picture because the people who were taking the pictures would get in trouble and yelled at.”

Senior Trevin Haines shows the picture he wanted to use as his student ID and his actual student ID.

Principal Ayers later stated that “[since school pictures are] of a serious nature, we prefer you take it seriously.”

“It’s a point of pride,” she stressed. “[The student ID picture] is the picture I get to take if there’s a police investigation; it’s the picture you get put in the yearbook if you don’t have a senior photo; it’s the photo that goes on your college transcripts.”

She also made clear that it was a safety issue as well. “We have to be able to verify your identity with your student ID.” If photos don’t match the student, then that could be extremely hard to do.

Senior Faith Hale displays her “silly ID” she took during school picture day.