PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Radio tracking identification has been used to monitor cattle and now is being utilized in two Texas school districts tracking student attendance. The devices allow administrators to keep tabs on students’ whereabouts according to an article in Education Week.

School leaders report that such devices increase attendance and improve security and although they’re money saving, they’re raising serious concerns among parents.

The American Civil Liberties Union fought the use of this technology in 2005 in Sutton, CA, thought to be the first to introduce such badges. The program was dismantled because of parental opposition. In Richmond, CA, a Head Start program used stimulus funding to buy tags for preschoolers, drawing national outrage.

Administrators see the greatest value for middle and high school kids, checking on those counted absent by teachers. In case of fire, school personnel believe badges would be able to help if students were trapped.

The words of one middle schooler probably captured the opinions of other kids. It’s not about hackers. “It makes you mindful knowing you could get caught if you do something wrong.”

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio


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