By Skylar Sigala
Imagine going through life without a name and instead being addressed by a number. Some people see the idea as efficient and creative while others see it as dehumanizing. Replacing names with a number phrase is a concept often present is dystopian novels and reference to the treatment of prisoners in labor camps, but this morning a bill was proposed with those exact intentions in the Youth and Government legislation competition. The bill penned by Bret Johnson, a junior at Hays High School, plans to ban conventional names and replace them with a 10 digit ID code.
The code would also function as their personal phone number. Inspiration for the bill sourced from Johnson seeing kids with common or embarrassing names and wanting to make a change to not only improve their lives, but promote individuality. Despite his best efforts, Johnson’s bill was not passed.
“It’s efficient, easy, and simple,” Johnson said, while also calling the bill, “The way of the future.”
The bill was met with much opposition, most of which was centered around statistics and the argument of efficiency.
“It doesn’t make sense…you have a social security ID number this bill will just create unnecessary confusion,” said Ridah Shaik, senior member of the Senate, speaking in opposition of the bill.
“Are there enough number combinations to support your bill for the Texas residents?” asked Kianna Anderson, a junior member of the House.
Johnson, who had no speakers in support of his bill, replied, “I calculated the combinations and there are one billion (number) combinations…the population of Texas is significantly lower than that.”
Though the bill was written with intentions to save face for children with embarrassing names or are looking for a way to individualize their common name, it will not be a possibility for Texas residents.