American public schools look more like youth internment centers, tracking students as district property, tagged and spied upon like criminals.
In California officials are outfitting preschoolers in Contra Costa County with tracking devices they say will save staff time and money.
When at the school, students will wear a jersey that has a small radio frequency tag. The tag will send signals to sensors that help track children’s whereabouts, attendance and even whether they’ve eaten or not.
School officials say it will free up teachers and administrators who previously had to note on paper files when a child was absent or had eaten.
“It’s called the Attendance Improvement Management Program or AIM, and it has been used across Texas and the United States.”
Students who skip class are now forced to attend “truancy court” and be lectured by a judge before being mandated to carry a GPS tracking device.
“Students on the program are tracked with a hand-held GPS device between the time they leave for school in the morning and the time they check in for curfew at night.”
Now in Connecticut officials are considering Tracking Devices for Students. No decisions have yet been made, but school officials plan to look into the possibility of adding radio frequency tags to student or staff ID cards, or place them on school property, like laptops.
“There’s a big difference in my mind between getting a ridership tracking and injecting an RF under the skin of a student so you can track where they are going,” board member Jim Kucharczyk said. “…Between those two extremes, what problem do we think we are trying to solve?”
“I can perceive parents would have an issue with tracking kids through the school and through town,” he said. “There’s a big difference between putting this on the school bus or putting it on backpacks or an ID card.”
District transportation coordinator Roy Walder said there might be a potential to expand the technology to school buses to track who’s using them and reduce budget costs.
All this paid by a federal grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct science research.
The FBI has made the determination that there is no crime for school officials to spy on your children. As reported last fall, Lower Merion School District provided 2,300 high school students with Mac laptops in what its superintendent, Christopher McGinley, described as an effort to establish a “mobile 21st-century learning environment.” The scheme was funded with $720,000 in state grants and other sources. The students were not allowed to install video games and other software, and were barred from “commercial, illegal, unethical and inappropriate” use.
What Blake and his parents did not know is that the school was able to access the webcam on Blake’s laptop remotely at any time.
On Tuesday, August 17, the FBI and federal prosecutors announced that they could not prove any criminal wrongdoing by Lower Merion School District.
“We have not found evidence that would establish beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone involved had criminal intent,” declared U.S. Attorney Zane D. Memeger.
Sources: Mercury News & NC Advertiser
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