Children in Texas (and across the nation) are encountering a troubling invasion of personal privacy, in the guise of “safety” and to reduce truancy, as school after school adopts RFID tracking chips. Students are being forced to carry around the tracking chips, which provide exact GPS location, in student ID cards that have to be worn around the neck. From Huffpo:
The “Student Locator Project,” which is slated to eventually reach 112 Texas schools and close to 100,000 students, is in trial stages in two Northside district schools. In an effort to reduce truancy, the district has issued new student IDs with an embedded radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip that tracks the location of a student at all times.
On the surface, school districts are arguing that this measure is simply to reduce truancy and to provide added safety to students, but as the Huffington Post points out, the real motivation behind it is to get additional funding from the state.
If successful, the tracking program could save the district as much as $175,000 lost daily to low attendance figures, which in part determine school funding. Higher attendance could lead to more state funding in the neighborhood of $1.7 million
So to obtain additional cash, the school district is spending MORE money on ID chips and in some districts (like in Anaheim, CA) “adult coaches” that harass the students if they aren’t in school on time (and haven’t entered a code up to 5 times a day), calling them on their phones in addition to tracking their whereabouts. That’s a GOVERNMENT institution tracking children’s whereabouts 24/7.
In other districts, the RFID chips had been provided but not required as mandatory. In Texas, where everything is bigger – especially the invasions into privacy, students aren’t allowed access to areas on the grounds, aren’t allowed to vote in school elections, and additionally the district is threatening to suspend and fine students who don’t wear them. Sounds like Obamacare a bit, but in this case it’s ID chips for student protection instead of forced health insurance.
What’s also disturbing is a poll at the bottom of Huffpo’s story, which shows 11% of the voters as supporters of this privacy invasion, having clicked “Yes, they are absolutely appropriate and fine that they’re mandatory. We need to know where our kids are.” That’s scary. Happy early Halloween, everyone. Mandatory tracking for everyone! Not personal choice, family by family. Everyone. Hopefully that minority isn’t a very vocal one.