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One California school district volunteered for a six-week program that tracks students with unexcused absences using GPS devices

While riding on a parade float singing "Twist and Shout" sounds like a better time than going to school, students might want to rethink their plans for a Ferris Bueller-like rendezvous now that a California school district is using GPS units to track students with a poor attendance history. 

The Anaheim Union High School District has volunteered to be apart of a six-week program, which aims to reduce the number of unexcused absences by equipping seventh and eighth grade students who have a poor attendance record with handheld GPS devices. Reducing the number of absences a student has saves the school district money. Every time a student misses class, the school loses $35.

The program works by assigning GPS units to students with more than three unexcused absences. After receiving the GPS device, students are sent an automated phone call every school day to remind them to get up and go to school. They must enter a code five times a day in order to activate the device and track their location. They must enter the code on their way to school, once they arrive, during lunch, on their way home from school and at 8 p.m. In addition, a coach is assigned to each student in order to make sure that they are where they're supposed to be doing what they're supposed to do. 

"This is their last chance at an intervention," said Kristen Levitin, principal at Dale Junior High in West Anaheim. "Anything that can help these kids get to class is a good thing."

The district has 75 students participating in the program. Those participating are able to avoid other consequences that the school may have otherwise administered had the students' not volunteered. After the six-week program is over, district officials will make the decision to either expand the program to other high schools and junior highs or dismiss it. 

Some parents are having a hard time accepting the program rules, saying that it seems a bit harsh.

"I feel like they come at us too hard, and making kids carry around something that tracks them seems extreme," said Raphael Garcia, who has a sixth grade student in the district with six unexcused absences. 

The GPS units cost $300-$400 each, and parents must replace them if they are lost or broken. The total cost of the program is about $18,000, which is funded by a state grant. 



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RE: Parental discipline, anyone?
By gmyx on 2/22/2011 7:37:18 AM , Rating: 0
It bothers me that some people think slapping a child solves anything. Discipline should be a corrective and not a punitive action - you are to teach them the correct way to behave. Slapping does not teach right form wrong - it teaches aggression for wrongs.

"I'm referring to structured disciplinary action whose scope is mutually understood by both parent and child." Tell me how the child understands that? They don't - it just aggravates the situation. I know with my kids it would never work.


RE: Parental discipline, anyone?
By LRonaldHubbs on 2/22/2011 10:25:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
parent and child." Tell me how the child understands that? They don't - it just aggravates the situation. I know with my kids it would never work.

What's not to understand? You do what you're told or you get spanked. It's not exactly a complicated system.

According to my parents I was the only 2-year-old in my extended family that understood the word 'no'. That's because they actually disciplined me instead of giving in to tantrums. If it doesn't work on your kids then you waited to long to start disciplining them.


RE: Parental discipline, anyone?
By mindless1 on 2/23/2011 12:25:58 AM , Rating: 2
There is no such thing as waiting too long, the failure happens if a punishment is threatened but then not carried out. It has to be consistent and it has to be made understood exactly what was done to *deserve* the punishment.

I'm not implying that spanking is the universal answer, different things work with different children like no allowance, grounding, no phone calls or internet access except for school work, no TV or video games, etc.


RE: Parental discipline, anyone?
By bah12 on 2/22/2011 11:23:28 AM , Rating: 2
Let's say you broke a "law", stole something whatever it doesn't matter. Would you rather have 5 lashings with a whip, very painful but no irreparable damage. OR would you rather spend 6 weeks in jail?

Get off your high horse. Time-out IS ABSOLUTELY punitive, just a different type of punitive and both work to teach the concept of consequences for your action. To a child just like an adult the result is the same a quick physically painful punishment, or a long drawn out torture via loss of rights.

The catch is BOTH require escalation. That swat on the bottom that worked as a 4 year old will get laughed at by a 7 year old. On the same hand the 2 min time-out that worked at a younger age becomes 5-10 at an older age, and eventually YOU'RE GROUNDED FOR A MONTH MISTER!!

Personally I use a mix of both, sometimes even giving the child the choice. Time out of x min or a swat. My point is putative methods change, but your argument that one is some how superior is flawed. Water board torture is not physically painful, but torture nonetheless. Time-out is the same concept, and although you may not see it as such, it IS torture similar to jail.


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