In the wake of Columbine, the Justice Department funded the first-ever iris-recognition-cum-access-control system for a rural New Jersey school district whose biggest prior security breach had been a parent who forgot to sign in before delivering cupcakes. Other districts have begun tracking students like cattle with radio-frequency chips in student ID cards, letting school officials pinpoint the students' location at any time.

We're likely to see much more of this in the post-Newtown rush to expand federal grants for secure schools, writes Gene Healy. A chicken in every pot, and a chip in every tot?