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Students will be tracked via chips in IDs
San Antonio Express News ^ | 05/24/2012 | Francisco Vara-Orta

Posted on 05/25/2012 6:50:26 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd

Northside Independent School District plans to track students next year on two of its campuses using technology implanted in their student identification cards in a trial that could eventually include all 112 of its schools and all of its nearly 100,000 students.

District officials said the Radio Frequency Identification System (RFID) tags would improve safety by allowing them to locate students — and count them more accurately at the beginning of the school day to help offset cuts in state funding, which is partly based on attendance.

Northside, the largest school district in Bexar County, plans to modify the ID cards next year for all students attending John Jay High School, Anson Jones Middle School and all special education students who ride district buses. That will add up to about 6,290 students.

The school board unanimously approved the program late Tuesday but, in a rarity for Northside trustees, they hotly debated it first, with some questioning it on privacy grounds.

State officials and national school safety experts said the technology was introduced in the past decade but has not been widely adopted. Northside's deputy superintendent of administration, Brian Woods, who will take over as superintendent in July, defended the use of RFID chips at Tuesday's meeting, comparing it to security cameras. He stressed that the program is only a pilot and not permanent.

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

Chip readers on campuses and on school buses can detect a student's location but can't track them once they leave school property. Only authorized administrative officials will have access to the information, Gonzalez said.

“This way we can see if a student is at the nurse's office or elsewhere on campus, when they normally are counted for attendance in first period,” he said.

Gonzalez said the district plans to send letters to parents whose students are getting the the RFID-tagged ID cards. He said officials understand that students could leave the card somewhere, throwing off the system. They cost $15 each, and if lost, a student will have to pay for a new one.

Parents interviewed outside Jay and Jones as they picked up their children Thursday were either supportive, skeptical or offended.

Veronica Valdorrinos said she would be OK if the school tracks her daughter, a senior at Jay, as she always fears for her safety. Ricardo and Juanita Roman, who have two daughters there, said they didn't like that Jay was targeted.

Gonzalez said the district picked schools with lower attendance rates and staff willing to pilot the tags.

Some parents said they understood the benefits but had reservations over privacy.

“I would hope teachers can help motivate students to be in their seats instead of the district having to do this,” said Margaret Luna, whose eighth-grade granddaughter at Jones will go to Jay next year. “But I guess this is what happens when you don't have enough money.”

The district plans to spend $525,065 to implement the pilot program and $136,005 per year to run it, but it will more than pay for itself, predicted Steve Bassett, Northside's assistant superintendent for budget and finance. If successful, Northside would get $1.7 million next year from both higher attendance and Medicaid reimbursements for busing special education students, he said.

But the payoff could be a lot bigger if the program goes districtwide, Bassett said.

He said the program was one way the growing district could respond to the Legislature's cuts in state education funding. Northside trimmed its budget last year by $61.4 million.

Two school districts in the Houston area — Spring and Santa Fe ISDs — have used the technology for several years and have reported gains of hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for improved attendance. Spring ISD spokeswoman Karen Garrison said the district, one-third the size of Northside, hasn't had any parent backlash.

In Tuesday's board debate, trustee M'Lissa M. Chumbley said she worried that parents might feel the technology violated their children's privacy rights. She didn't want administrators tracking teachers' every move if they end up outfitted with the tags, she added.

“I think this is overstepping our bounds and is inappropriate,” Chumbley said. “I'm honestly uncomfortable about this.”

Northside has to walk a tightrope in selling the idea to parents, some of whom could be turned off by the revenue incentive, said Kenneth Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services, a Cleveland-based consulting firm.

The American Civil Liberties Union fought the use of the technology in 2005 at a rural elementary school in California and helped get the program canceled, said Kirsten Bokenkamp, an ACLU spokeswoman in Texas. She said concerns about the tags include privacy and the risks of identity theft or kidnapping if somebody hacks into the system.

Texas Education Agency spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson said no state law or policy regulates the use of such devices and the decision is up to local districts.


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 666; eucation; rfid

Gonzalez said the district plans to send letters to parents whose students are getting the the RFID-tagged ID cards. He said officials understand that students could leave the card somewhere, throwing off the system. They cost $15 each, and if lost, a student will have to pay for a new one.


I have a better idea. Just implant the tags under the skin. Works for dogs, right? No problem, right?
 
/s


1 posted on 05/25/2012 6:50:31 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd
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To: Responsibility2nd
So how much do RFID blocking cases cost? Sure, I might have to carry the ID, but I want to keep it nice and safe in a metal box so it doesn't get lost or damaged.
2 posted on 05/25/2012 6:55:32 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (You only have three billion heartbeats in a lifetime.How many does the government claim as its own?)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Right forearm, would be the place.


3 posted on 05/25/2012 6:56:25 AM PDT by svcw (If one living cell on another planet is life, why isn't it life in the womb?)
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To: Responsibility2nd

N.F.W.


4 posted on 05/25/2012 7:00:23 AM PDT by KingLudd
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To: Responsibility2nd

So I can’t see where this would help them count attendance. Any student who forgets to bring his/her ID that day would be counted absent.


5 posted on 05/25/2012 7:02:29 AM PDT by Apple Pan Dowdy (... as American as Apple Pie mmm mmm mmm)
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To: Apple Pan Dowdy

It’s not about counting the students already there, it’s about printing gazillion fake cards to count ghost students attendance for more state/federal funding.

Next...


6 posted on 05/25/2012 7:05:31 AM PDT by poobear
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To: Apple Pan Dowdy

Just have one of your friends take your ID to class.


7 posted on 05/25/2012 7:06:53 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: KarlInOhio
"So how much do RFID blocking cases cost?"

I believe that radiation proof wallets are sold @ wally world for about 10 bucks.

8 posted on 05/25/2012 7:12:11 AM PDT by matthew fuller (Mitt Romney is the supreme exemplification of the word SMARMY.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
I have a better idea. Just implant the tags under the skin.

And as backup, tattoo a UPC bar code on each student's forehead.

9 posted on 05/25/2012 7:16:41 AM PDT by Fresh Wind ('People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.' Richard M. Nixon)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Beware of the savage roar of 1984...David Bowie


10 posted on 05/25/2012 7:19:55 AM PDT by stockpirate (Romney, Ann Coulter & our ruling republican elites, are Big Government socialists, Grand Ole Sociali)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Bzzzzt...


11 posted on 05/25/2012 7:22:33 AM PDT by moovova (OBAMA: The first US President to come out of the closet.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
the program is only a pilot and not permanent

Another Big Brother argument for total control over humans.

12 posted on 05/25/2012 7:24:39 AM PDT by OldNavyVet
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To: Responsibility2nd

They do it for cattle, too!


13 posted on 05/25/2012 7:24:49 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Responsibility2nd

How to build an RFID Zapper ..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0vZigwn09I&feature=fvsr


14 posted on 05/25/2012 7:25:44 AM PDT by Molan Labe
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To: Apple Pan Dowdy

Or if you put that school ID in a shielded wallet or something similar.


15 posted on 05/25/2012 7:26:15 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: stockpirate
I believe the line is "Beware the savage jaw, of 1984"

And don't forget from the same album"

He'll build a glass asylum
With just a hint of mayhem
He'll build a better whirlpool
We'll be living from sin,
then we can really begin

Please saviour, saviour, show us
Hear me, I'm graphically yours
Someone to claim us, someone to follow
Someone to shame us, some brave Apollo
Someone to fool us, someone like you
We want you Big Brother, Big Brother

16 posted on 05/25/2012 7:27:47 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: svcw
Right forearm, would be the place.

The left worked pretty good as well:

or perhaps a new school uniform:

(all from Wiki)

17 posted on 05/25/2012 7:28:54 AM PDT by Oatka (This is America. Assimilate or evaporate.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
Just more baby steps to turn us all into identical cattle.

In high school, I pretty much never went to class except for exam days. I learned more by looking at the books myself, instead of watching a teacher regurgitate it at the pace of the slowest student for 6 hours a day. Even back then, this ‘school babysitter’ idea was prevalent. I had a perfect 100% average in Physics but it was dropped to an 80% because the teacher said “the administrators will skin me if they see that grade with your attendance”. I did much better in college because attendance was not counted at all.

I also started a successful electronics business at 16 with my free time.

Today, I would probably be kicked out of school or chemically lobotomized with all the pills they force the ‘different’ kids to take. And if that didn't work, they would probably arrest my parents for not ‘controlling’ me.

18 posted on 05/25/2012 7:49:27 AM PDT by varyouga
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To: Responsibility2nd
My neighbor's dog got loose and ended up being killed by a car on a freeway.

The dog had a chip ...

Guess who had to pay for the damages.

19 posted on 05/25/2012 7:51:44 AM PDT by OldNavyVet
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To: Responsibility2nd

Oooh, it “improves safety!” Let’s all get in line!


20 posted on 05/25/2012 8:08:14 AM PDT by Lady Lucky (Non-compliant, not govt-issued, and not voting for Romney.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I do so hope that some inventive students hack and duplicate these RFIDs, to totally confuse the system. Since RFIDs can be scanned from several feet away, students wouldn’t even know that their RFID has been copied.

Yet imagine the confusion when students appear to be in several classes at the same time, unknown RFID identifiers show up hither and yon, some students have multiple identifiers hidden on them, etc.


21 posted on 05/25/2012 8:26:43 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: Apple Pan Dowdy
Any student who forgets to bring his/her ID that day would be counted absent.

And any student that wanted to cut school would just have to give his card to another student to carry around for the day.

22 posted on 05/25/2012 8:55:17 AM PDT by super7man
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Remember, these guinea pigs, uh, excuse me, students, will be special ed kids, either EMR or TMR (educable or trainable mentally retarded [if this word is still used], meaning their IQs will be approximately 75 or below. I doubt these kids will be able to fool the system; hence, they are the perfect “subjects” for this experiment. Run the numbers, this is a highly profitable exercise for the system.


23 posted on 05/25/2012 9:26:07 AM PDT by miele man
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To: Responsibility2nd

Just another brick in the wall.


24 posted on 05/25/2012 11:13:55 AM PDT by Datom
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To: OldNavyVet
Another Big Brother argument for total control over humans.

You have to love Texas, civilian law enforcement agencies are getting drones that can someday be armed, cities are putting cameras every where they can, 5 out of the 6 largest cities went for Obama, Houston elected a lesbian for mayor, Dallas a lesbian for sheriff. Millions voluntarily live in subdivisions with homeowners associations that track the length of their grass or how tall their mailbox is.

Now this. Nothing surprises me anymore.
25 posted on 05/28/2012 12:06:15 PM PDT by af_vet_rr
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