Texas Schools Track Students with RFID Chips! (Nanny of the Month, Nov '12)

This month's lineup of of busybodies includes the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where administrators may ban booze in dorms--even for students of legal drinking age (guess those college kids would just stay dry!). Then there's Chi-Town, where officials are using GPS devices to track food trucks to make sure they don't wander within 200 feet of any fixed businesses that sell food, including convenience stores. Violators could face fines of $2,000. Compare that to the $100 fine you'd face for parking in front of a fire hydrant and you get an idea for just how seriously city officials take the threat of competition. (Good thing the Institute for Justice is on the case.)

But this time the nanny of the month comes to us from deep in the heart of Texas, where administrators at San Antonio's Northside school district are tracking kids with radio frequency identification chips. Dozens of electronic readers have been installed in the school's ceiling panels to keep tabs on the kiddos while they're at school. The official number-one reason for going RFID is to "increase student safety and security," but--since district funding goes up when attendance goes up--it's clearly all about the Benjamins.

With school-based tracking going back to at least 2004, the Lone Star State has been something of an RFID trailblazer. In fact, Northside is considering expanding the program to cover all of the district's 97,000 students.

About 80 seconds.

"Nanny of the Month" is written and produced by Ted Balaker. Opening animation by Meredith Bragg.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If parents don't like the RDIF chip ultimatum then they should take their education dollars to another school.

  • ||

    That's a fine last step, should it come to that.

    If this program is implemented all across the district, that will be easier said than done for some.

    In the mean time though, those who oppose the measure should be vocal in their disapproval.

  • Trespassers W||

    FoE is joking; one doesn't simply take one's education dollars to another school. One's education dollars are taken regardless of one's wishes.

  • The Derider||

    http://www.eot.org/texas/chart.....n-antonio/

    Completely untrue.

    Take your kid to a charter school, and the charter school gets the money.

  • SugarFree||

    OT: Ostrich Prime manages to spew almost 500 words about the opposition to Susan Rice becoming SecState, and yet not one of them is "Benghazi."

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    concerns that Republicans are attacking Rice because she's a black woman, which Marcus sort-of-doesn't but sort-of-does think is happening:

    A woman, after all, has been secretary of state for all but four of the last 16 years; during the interregnum, the job was held by a black man.

    But that doesn't mean it can't be a factor:

    But to note the progress women have made is not to say that the problem of sexism has been erased. It persists in the shadows of consciousness.


    She would have gotten to Benghazi but racism and sexism got in the way. Evil white men!

  • T||

    Benghazi was a pretext to cover up the racism of the male gaze.

    Or something. I dunno, I'm pretty squarely in the angry white man demo and I just figured she's either mendacious or incompetent. Her gender and ethnicity have nothing to do with those traits, do they?

  • ||

    As a woman, I read this & feel pretty strongly like I belong more in the angry white man demographic than the crazy psycho vagina-centric demographic.

  • Trespassers W||

    This sounds like a great opportunity for some bright young thing to learn about digital engineering.

  • T||

    Microwave, meet rfid. Rfid, meet microwave. Too obvious that your school ID has a scorched hole in it? My friend ball pein hammer can help.

  • IceTrey||

    Bad idea. This is how they take attendance. If your chip is fried you'll get too many absences and won't move forward or graduate. On the other hand get a buddy to take your badge to school and you can run wild!

  • dinkster||

    Pay an essay, to just walk around carrying a few hundred badges.

  • dinkster||

    I would replace my kid's RFID with something that scanned "suck my balls"

  • marxmarv||

    If the anecdotes about past practices are any guide, they'll end up learning a LOT more about abuse of authority if they try. I suggest bright young things learn about mendacity and plausible deniability instead, as those pay better.

  • HenryC||

    We should remember that the people in the school are not adults and nannying is appropriate. The schools own the dorms, and face it, less booze, less damage. I Chi-town it is the law, not the method of enforcement that is sickening.

  • HenryC||

    Of course as soon as I hit eighteen and if I was still in school I would hand them their RFID and say stuff it.

  • John C. Randolph||

    I turned 18 during my senior year of high school, and there was one occasion when a school administrator tried to stop me from leaving the school grounds for lunch. I explained to him that he had no such prerogative, and that if he attempted to stop me physically, I would call the cops and press charges. He backed down.

    -jcr

  • IceTrey||

    He was stupid then because they can always suspend or expel you for breaking the rules no matter how old you are.

  • Tonio||

    Just because they aren't adults doesn't mean they lose all rights. And you seem to have missed the point that some college students are indeed 21 or older; not just seniors but military vets.

    And as long as you're in school you have to abide by the rules, even if you are 18 or older; your only option is to withdraw.

  • Rick Santorum||

    Just because they aren't adults doesn't mean they lose all rights.

    You don't have a right to booze on private property, shithead.

  • marxmarv||

    The whole point of school these days is to prepare children for the workplace, right? End *private* employer overreach and there'll be no reason for the state to follow suit.

  • IceTrey||

    I don't really have a problem with this. If education was strictly private like it should be would you have the same problem with it?

  • flye||

    I know I wouldn't. You bought your ticket, you knew what you were getting into. Freedom of choice really does solve a lot of these educational standards issues.

  • American||

    As our country grows less intelligent, though mass third-world immigration and cultural decline, we will see this kind of thing more often. Do-gooders see education as the latest attempt at making society more equal, after the failure of direct redistribution of wealth. If Jose isn't coming to class, put a tracking chip in him. Raise my taxes to pay for it. If he isn't doing his algebra in the class, he obviously needs more "teacher attention." Then blame the teacher for his not paying attention. Fire the teacher. If he makes a bad joke in class, get the cops in the school. Strip search him. But never, ever, say the two banned words: intelligence and culture. Intelligence is not genetic despite the large body of evidence that it is. Jose's decadent culture has nothing to do with his poor performance. He thinks that math is "white," that being smart won't get him the girls(justifiably), and that he has to be a "man" and "stand up for himself." But that is the teachers fault, obviously.

  • Coriolanus||

    The real problem with incidents like the RFID tags hasn't been mentioned. We are conditioning the young to accept what amounts to police state regulations. RFID tags, armed police on patrol in your school, CCTV surveillance at all times, and a host of other things aren't inherently bad at a government school other than that too many people will not realize that you should have a vastly different acceptance of those measures depending on if you are an adult or not. A student may not see the reason those measures are dangerous in society if he or she grew up with them their whole life in school.

    In regards to the 'dry dorm', I could care less. Military commanders have the authority to institute a dry barracks if they so desire, so anyone living in government housing(such as a dorm) should expect the same, regardless of their age. You want rights, live in a private residence with all the Constitutional protections that incurs.

  • Cây Cảnh Nam Toàn||

    Thanks good

  • joey89924||

    during the interregnum, the job was held by a black man.But that doesn't mean it can't be a factor...
    BS170

  • Mary Leonhardt||

    As a high school teacher for 35 years, I'm pretty amused by this. I taught in a number of schools. What they had in common was that we took attendance in every class. So now, with the ID chips, will teachers still take attendance? Will the school run two attendance systems now--the teacher record as well as the ID chips? Probably not.

    So all a kid has to do when he wants to cut a class is throw his ID chip in the backpack of a friend attending the class. If the teacher says he wasn't there he says, "Hey, it's on the computer! I was there!" If there was a test given, and his test is "missing" he says, "The teacher lost it."

    You think kids won't immediately think of doing these things?

  • Cây xanh Sa Đéc||

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    Northside is considering expanding the program to cover all of the district's 97,000 students. Rüya Tabirleri - Yemek Tarifleri

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