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Some parents are worried about the privacy of their children

A school district in San Antonio, Texas is looking to track some of its students using Radio Frequency Identification System (RFID) tags next year.

Northside Independent School District hopes to use RFID tags in two of its schools in order to help protect its students and also increase revenue.

RFID tags are ID cards that track the location of the holder. Northside Independent School District wants to take part in a trial next year where John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School students will carry the RFID tags at all times. This is about 6,290 students total.

"We want to harness the power of the technology to make schools safer, know where our students are all the time in school, and increase revenues," said Pascual Gonzalez, district spokesman. "Parents expect that we always know where their children are, and this technology will help us do that."

Parents in the school district have had varied reactions to the news. Some have been supportive while others question the need for such invasive technology.

"I would hope teachers can help motivate students to be in their seats instead of the district having to do this," said Margaret Luna, a parent in the district. "But I guess this is what happens when you don't have enough money."

RFID tags could help the school district offset cuts in state funding because attendance plays a huge role in determining revenue. With a more exact attendance count via RFID tags, Northside could receive a total of $1.7 million next year from higher attendance and Medicaid reimbursements for busing special education students. If the trial proves successful, RFID tags could go districtwide and bring in a much larger payoff.

The district will pay $525,065 to deploy the trial next year, then another $136,005 annually to run it. Each RFID tag is $15, which students will have to pay if they lose it.

While the payoff could be great for the district, privacy is the main concern of parents. The district says students will only be tracked while they are physically in the school, and only authorized administrative officials will have access to RFID information. However, there are concerns regarding kidnapping if someone were to hack into the system.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) battled a California school in 2005 for using such technology, citing worries over identity theft and kidnapping.

The Northside school board approved the RFID program last Tuesday after a long debate over privacy and potential revenue increases.

Source: My San Antonio

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These are today parents....
By breathlesstao on 5/29/2012 1:15:50 AM , Rating: 2
?"Parents expect that we always know where their children are"

Shouldn't it be the parents to always know that? There's something wrong already if you don't know where your kid is - especially if you drop them off at school or see them take the school bus and yet they're not in school during the day... I agree that schools should be aware of the kids whereabouts - during school hours, within the school campus, if the kids actually turned up there in the morning, to start with. If they didn't, it should not be the school's business at all, let alone in such a privacy-invasive way.

This is just one of the best (and saddest) examples of parents wanting to get the responsibilities off their shoulders; right there with blaming media content providers if their kids do something stupid because of an ad or a TV show or some such. :/ But here's the catch that things like this always make me ask: why have a child if you don't want the responsibilities in the first place???

RE: These are today parents....
By Dr of crap on 5/29/2012 10:11:21 AM , Rating: 2
Because it's like a status symbol or something like that.

You got married,
bought the house,
now you have a kid or three,
BUT you don't want to have the resposibilty of watching and raising a resposible adult from the kid. IT'S TO MUCH PRESSURE and it takes away from the parents having THEIR fun!

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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