Tracking Devices in Student IDs?

Matthew Winchester, Staff Writer

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Some school districts have been debating putting tracking technology inside of student identification cards. There is much debate about whether this is a good idea or a bad one. There are many reasons schools want trackers put into identification cards, such as making sure students aren’t skipping class.

According to Fox News, Anson Jones Middle School in Texas already has these tracking identification cards in place. Their reason for using these cards is to make sure students are in homeroom. Texas schools receive money based on the amount of students in homeroom. Anson Jones expected a return on their investment since it would keep students in their homeroom.

These devices  have no switch. This means students would have no control over when they’re tracked.  Many students feel this is an invasion of their privacy.

Student identification tracking devices are very costly. This also raises other questions like “Would it be worth it?” The one year pilot program will cost the Texas district $261,000. These cards could bring in $2 million in funding as a result of these tracking identification cards.

One parent shared that this could be both a good and a bad thing. Parents could benefit from these devices. They could know where their child is at most whenever they have their identification card on them. It could be beneficial in emergency situations.

Liz Mclntyre, a consumer privacy expert, began studying this technology in 2002. She stated that these cards could possibly be left behind at school while students are elsewhere.

After sharing this information with my CFHS peers, all were against having trackers.

“Putting trackers in school ID’s is unnecessary, the simple idea of it makes me doubt the us of such a thing. Simple attendance taking and a sign out sheet that students fill out should be plenty to keep track of students within school. A tracker would do nothing that these things couldn’t accomplish. The only thing this tracker would be tracking would be already recorded as well as the unnecessary addition of what students are doing outside of school, something the school doesn’t need to know,” said Senior Brin Cordright.

“I think that schools should not be allowed to do this because it’s technically an invasion of our privacy,” shared Kaya Perry, also a senior.

Technology is known to bring consistent changes, along with negative consequences.  There is a fear of skimming, hacking, and stealing identities from even the most sophisticated systems.

It will be interesting to see where this educational technology takes us in the future.  Will it be implemented in our South Carolina schools?  Only time will tell.

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