Published on Friday, March 29, 2013 by The Norseman Staff
As the number of students cutting class across the nation increases, school districts have turned to extreme methods in an effort to control attendance.
Several schools have implemented a microchip device in student identification badges that monitors the location of students on campus. This topic has sparked controversy in several school districts, especially in Texas where it has reached the federal courts.
Tracking students through electronic means is unethical and irresponsible. The microchips are an invasion of student privacy. The very idea of someone tracking a student’s every move is unsettling. Even worse though, it seems dangerous.
These devices would have to emit some sort of signal to transmit information to the administration on each student. This information could then be intercepted by a third-party, putting students at risk of a predator.
This disciplinary measure would waste precious funds in school districts where budgets are already limited. With recent budget cuts, basic school necessities like resources, teachers and supplies are not being met, so money should not be wasted on things that could be considered luxury.
There is more to consider than the initial cost of a program like this. Who would be responsible for the maintenance and repair of the IDs? If a student’s microchip was damaged by themselves or another student the school would have to have measures to replace the ID. The back end of this would also require maintenance and someone to run the system and monitor daily.
Theoretically this tracking program is a good idea because schools are looking for a way to keep students in school, but there are ways to get around the system. If students skipped class, they could take their IDs off and give them to a friend, or leave them in a classroom to make it appear that they’re on the campus.
High school campuses are struggling with attendance, but microchiped identification badges will not elevate the problem; it will only create more issues. Schools should instead work on ways to make students want to be on-campus.