A few months ago, we posted about a public school in San Antonio, Texas, that was going to begin implementing a new student ID system that includes RFID chips that will track the students whereabouts at all times. Well, now that system is in place and it's causing a LOT of controversy.
The badges, which are intended to reduce truancy rates—which would get the school more public funding—are still heavily opposed by the community. However, the school system is cracking down, threatening students who don't wear their new IDs with suspension, refusing to allow them to participate in extracurriculars, and restricting their access to the library and cafeteria. Now, let's talk about why this isn't okay:
- It's a HUGE invasion of privacy. Whatever your thoughts on the government, Big Brother, and all of that, it's hard to ignore the fact that having a system tracking your location all the time is a bit...invasive, to say the least.
- It sends the wrong message to students. Do you know what else RFID chips are used for? Tracking animals and criminals. Do we really want to put students—who havn't done anything wrong yet—on that level?
- It's not necessarily going to solve the problem. Tracking students' locations isn't going to stop them from skipping school or leaving their ID behind when they go places. It's just going to make it easier to punish them when they break the rules.
- It doesn't allow for religious exceptions. There are many religions that would (and do) have a problem with something like this; the fact that this program is willing to violate the right of religious freedom is a bit scary and wrong.
- It's only creating new problems. If a school district is trying to increase student attendance rates, why implement a controversial program that will actual result in more students being suspended and therefore absent from school?
- It's unsafe. The chips don't magically turn off after school hours. Instead, the school has a database of all students' whereabouts all the time, which (whatever your thoughts about privacy) is just not safe. The possibility of breaking or hacking into the database, tracking a student down, and doing something terrible is just too big.
But those are just our thoughts. What are your thoughts about the new tracking system? Is anyone in favor of it? Discuss in the comments!