In an attempt to increase revenues by better ensuring attendance, one Texas school district is integrating trackable RFID chips into their students’ IDs. District spokesmen claim that this push is to increase student safety however there are major financial incentives as well. How long will it take before teachers are being tracked and what will stop administrators or the government from abusing this new power? Francisco Vara-Orta reports:
“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.”
“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.’”