School District in Texas Plans to Microchip Students to Aid with Safety and Attendance

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Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

Parents who want to know whether or not their children are cutting class or getting into trouble now have a high-tech way to keep tabs on the behavior of their sons and daughters. For the upcoming school year, students within the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas will be greeted with microchips along with their books and assignments. The Radio Frequency Identification System will be worn around the necks of middle and high schoolers and track their movements during school hours. Intended to aid with safety, representatives of the District also cite budget cuts as a reason to implement the technology.

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Image via the Northside Independent School District

Teachers and administrators will have a powerful tool to keep students in their seats and will thereby receive more funding from the government. The district intends to spend $525,065 to start the program, which will cost about $136,005 each year to operate. If all goes according to plan, they are set to accept almost $1.7 million in aid.

Microchipping programs have been implemented before — both in the US and abroad. Two districts in Houston, Texas and one in Anaheim, California have used GPS to track students with poor attendance with some success. A Swedish daycare ran a pilot program last year to monitor its children, and a town in Brazil has used chips to see whether or not their students were showing up for class.

While the technology may help with discipline and possibly keeping children out of harm’s way, it raises questions as to the nature of free will, trust between children and parents, and the effectiveness of schools to keep kids motivated to learn without the threat of punishment. In a time where citizens are wary of government listening in to phone and Internet communications, would you let your children be microchipped? Do the benefits to schools and attendance outweigh the ability for students to make choices on their own? What would you do?

+ Northside Independent School District

via Take Part

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One Response to “School District in Texas Plans to Microchip Students to Aid with Safety and Attendance”

  1. says:

    As a high school teacher myself – the first question that comes to mind is “how this this even going to be effective”? What is going to stop students giving their tags to classmates to carry round for the day in their back packs? A guard at the gate checking each student and tag in at the start of the day, and out at the end is not going to stop students sneaking away in between and spending the time googling on their phones in the toilet rather than attending a less popular class.
    If I cover another teacher’s class with students I don’t know, then after I have marked the roll, count the names marked present on the roll, and students in front of me. Often the two will not add up, and as students will answer “present” for students they know are skipping that class, and I need to do a second more “honest” roll marking to make he two numbers add up.
    As to keeping track of toddlers and demented residents in nursing homes that may wander, I can see GREAT value, and would put one on my own toddler’s wrist if I could be sure that the device itself had no health dangers.

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