Microchip for High School Students?

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GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116
Microchip for High School Students?

Should high school students be required to carry an ID card with a microchip so they can be tracked at school? Do you think there is a danger that these ID cards could be tracked outside of school?

A school district in Texas came under fire earlier this year when it announced that it would require students to wear microchip-embedded ID cards at all times. Now, students who refuse to be monitored say they are feeling the repercussions.

Since October 1, students at John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School in San Antonio, Texas, have been asked to attend class with photo ID cards equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips to track every pupil?s location. Educators insist that the endeavor is being rolled out in Texas to stem the rampant truancy devastating the school's funding. If the program is judged successful, the RFID chips could soon come to 112 schools in all and affect nearly 100,000 students.

Students who refuse to walk the school halls with the card in their pocket or around their neck claim they are being tormented by instructors, and are barred from participating in certain school functions. Some also said they were turned away from common areas like cafeterias and libraries.

The Northside Independent School District expects to collect upwards of $2 million in state funding by reversing its poor attendance figures, with the RFID program costing around one-quarter of that sum to initiate and another $136,005 in maintenance. The new funding may not offset the other damages that could arise: Heather Fazio of Texans for Accountable Government told WND that she filed a Freedom of Information Act request for $30 and received the names and addresses of every student in the school district.

?Using this information along with an RFID reader means a predator could use this information to determine if the student is at home and then track them wherever they go. These chips are always broadcasting so anyone with a reader can track them anywhere,? she said.

Kirsten Bokenkamp of the ACLU told the San Antonio Express-News earlier this year that her organization expected to challenge the board?s decision to use the tracking system, but the school went ahead with the program undeterred. Steve Hernandez told WND that he approached the ACLU abour representing his daughter?s case, but Rebecca Robertson of a local branch of the organization said that, ?the ACLU of Texas will not be able to represent you or your daughter in this matter,? saying the case did not meet the group's criteria.

Texas schools punish students who refuse to be tracked with microchips — RT

MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3229

I read this yesterday and then discovered another (related) article which I found offering more disturbing information:

[URL=http://www.salon.com/2012/10/08/big_brother_invades_our_classrooms/]Big Brother invades our classrooms
[/URL]
(Schools across the country are adopting frightening new methods to monitor their students in school and out)

These are able to monitor kids in and OUT of the school. Some mentioned (not solely in TX) include monitoring when kids are getting on/off the bus; tracking where they are at any given moment with the ability to "locate kids in seconds" inside AND OUT of school, wristwatch like devices that "count heartbeats, detect motion and even track students’ sleeping habits", webcams with remote access, and more.

These systems are invasive of both the students and parents' privacy. They are intrusive and in most cases, over the top. Seriously, if a kid wants to be truant, now he just has to pass off his card to be "counted" as a friend carries it into school. What predator / child abductor would not think to toss the kids backpack (with the monitor)?

I appreciate that we need to find ways to lower truancy, help kids graduate, and to keep kids safe. I also agree that it is important for kids to get enough sleep, be active, and eat properly. But turning into "Big Brother" to accomplish these goals is not the way (imho).

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I am not comfortable with this at all. I appreciate the fact that their truancy rate needs to be addressed but I do not feel this is the way to go. I would definitely think about pulling out of that school system.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

Holy @#$%. That's bananas.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I'm against it. Having said that, I keep thinking that I wish there was a microchip on this poor local girl that was abducted last week and is still missing. :cryinghard: Then again, I think whoever said that a kidnapper would probably think to throw away a chipped card anyway was probably right, especially if they became common.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

So what's to stop me from giving my ID to a friend for the day while I go to the mall?

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

So what's to stop me from giving my ID to a friend for the day while I go to the mall?

My thought was that the only way this would work is if they could 'see' in real time where your card was. Then if you weren't in class they could 'find' you in the school, and therefore know you weren't in the school. But I dont really get how this keeps kids from being truant. I mean, if I wasn't going to go before, why am I now just because I am wearing a card......I dont get it.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

"ClairesMommy" wrote:

Holy @#$%. That's bananas.

My sentiments exactly.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

I don't like that one bit. I'd tell my kid to leave the ID card in her locker when she left school. The school has no right to know where my child is after she leaves the premises; she's my responsibility the minute she steps past the school gate.

I do understand that schools need to stop truancy, but this isn't the right way. IMHO the root of truancy is a parental issue, not a school issue. It ends up being the school's problem because they lose money & have lower graduation rates, but the problem starts at home and it should end at home. And it can end at home very quickly when parents make sure their kids attend school. Parents need to be the ones to spark their kids' interest in learning, and send the message that education is the only way to get ahead in life, and parents should never tolerate truancy. Put your foot down and be the parent. Take the smart phone away, unplug the internet, don't take them to the mall this weekend, give them extra chores, whatever your kid's "currency" is, do it. Take the day off work & physically take them to every single class if you have to. (I've never heard of a parent who had to do this more than once!) Find out what their issues are with school and address them: if it's a bully, get the bully thrown out; if they don't like getting up early, find a school that starts later or explore alternatives; if they're in a gang, get them out, and out of town; if they don't like a teacher, remind them that this semester only lasts a few months and this is a good lesson for dealing with people you don't like in the real world. Do what needs to be done. And then the school will have to reason to issue ID cards with microchips.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

"Spacers" wrote:

I don't like that one bit. I'd tell my kid to leave the ID card in her locker when she left school. The school has no right to know where my child is after she leaves the premises; she's my responsibility the minute she steps past the school gate.

I do understand that schools need to stop truancy, but this isn't the right way. IMHO the root of truancy is a parental issue, not a school issue. It ends up being the school's problem because they lose money & have lower graduation rates, but the problem starts at home and it should end at home. And it can end at home very quickly when parents make sure their kids attend school. Parents need to be the ones to spark their kids' interest in learning, and send the message that education is the only way to get ahead in life, and parents should never tolerate truancy. Put your foot down and be the parent. Take the smart phone away, unplug the internet, don't take them to the mall this weekend, give them extra chores, whatever your kid's "currency" is, do it. Take the day off work & physically take them to every single class if you have to. (I've never heard of a parent who had to do this more than once!) Find out what their issues are with school and address them: if it's a bully, get the bully thrown out; if they don't like getting up early, find a school that starts later or explore alternatives; if they're in a gang, get them out, and out of town; if they don't like a teacher, remind them that this semester only lasts a few months and this is a good lesson for dealing with people you don't like in the real world. Do what needs to be done. And then the school will have to reason to issue ID cards with microchips.

While I can't disagree with your theory, there are many kids who do not have caring, motivated parents to do this for them. It's those kids who need SOMETHING else, but I don't for a second believe these microchips are the answer.

CamelNoodle's picture
Joined: 07/28/04
Posts: 908

I agree that the idea is a terrible one.

BUT, if it makes you all feel better, RFID cards do not broadcast a signal that can be tracked from far away. So if this did happen, once the child is off school grounds, they can't be tracked. The readers have a small range. See this: Radio-frequency identification - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

smsturner's picture
Joined: 05/11/09
Posts: 1303

Maybe working for a school I'm looking at this differently.
We face a HUGE problem in the fact that we are responsible for these kids and their whereabouts. If one is doing something they shouldn't and gets hurt, that is OUR problem. But we cannot babysit 600 kids every second of the school day here, and funding to school to hire aides, to help watch their every move, is going down the drains.
As pressure from parents, and the government increases to know what each child is doing, where and when, schools are becoming more and more desperate to find ways to keep liability down. It definitely is a home issue too imo. Parents get so angry with the school if their child isn't in class doing what they should be. But somehow the child doesn't get the blame they should for not behaving. Junior ran out of class and left school to play hooky? They don't consider it junior's fault anymore. Now it's why wasn't the school watching him closely enough?

I'm not saying the school is never at fault, but if the parents sent a better message about accountability, and did hold their kids accountable, this wouldn't be such a big issue.
There is a big difference these days in punishments we are allowed to give, and the way accountability sits for the time they are here.

If we are now evaluated on every minute a child sits in the class to be instructed, we are certainly going to do every little thing we can to get them to that class, including make it easier to chase them down.

I brought this up in the office today.
We ALL love it! Why? Because we would be able to increase safety, increase student accountability, and maybe even decrease spending because less staff will be needed to follow each child around, and less legal problems if something should happen (which costs schools a ton of money).

I DEFINITELY agree about not being able to track them off of grounds if they are excused from school by their parents! As a parent and school employee, if these students are leaving without permission, I think everyone is better off knowing where they are. If my kid ran off, I would LOVE knowing where they went if they were cutting school.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

No way to the microchips. They should work on figuring out why the high truancy exists and come up with a plan to prevent it rather than just know when the child is in attendance or not. It just seems like a high tech attendance taker to me and nothing that will prevent truancy in the first place.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

Watch the documentary The War on Kids