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4 Bumps

RFID chips for students. How do you feel and would you allow this for your child?

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.

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.

These chips are actually in their student ID cards.  What if the student forgets their ID at home?  $15 a pop isn't affordable in some homes.  Kids are forgetful.  I guess I am not seeing how this program raises revenue like they say it does.  I get how kids can skip school, but if the chip only tracks them while on campus and has no ability to track them off campus, how many kids are skipping class and staying on campus?  Do their teachers not take attendance?  It just seems like more money for another unnecessary program.

What are your thoughts? 




Asked by QuinnMae at 8:01 PM on Oct. 7, 2012 in Politics & Current Events

Level 48 (292,718 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (31)
  • Sounds like a huge waste of money and an invasion of privacy!
    I would not be happy about this!

    Answer by PMSMom10 at 8:10 PM on Oct. 7, 2012

  • Woah...this is hitting a little too close to home for me. My kids go to NISD.

    I don't think I like it. Is it like chips in toll transponders and passports?

    I kind of don't my kids being tracked like that. What will they do with the data?

    Answer by Izsarejman at 8:07 PM on Oct. 7, 2012

  • *like

    Answer by Izsarejman at 8:08 PM on Oct. 7, 2012

  • I think it is an expense that overrides the adults' ability to do their jobs. If my district implemented this, I'm sure half of us would be saying "what, are we now too incompetent to take attendance?"...but I could see where in an emergency it would be handy. For example, if there was a fire in the school, you would be able to see if there were any students remaining in the building and where they were, etc.

    The biggest problem I see is that kids will forget them. Plain and simple. And it will negate effectiveness. Also, you wouldn't want to become reliant on this to the point it overrides common sense: ex. we don't need to check the bathrooms in a fire because the chip will tell us if someone is in there.

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 8:14 PM on Oct. 7, 2012

  • It doesn't 'scare me' but I can see a more disadvantages than advantages to it. Cost related to noncompliance being the biggest one.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 8:16 PM on Oct. 7, 2012

  • I was thinking about that, but how many kids drop their stuff around campus? How about leaving it in their first class of the day and moving on to other classes? The chip will say that they stayed in their first class and they are theoretically untraceable at that point. Since it only works on campus, I don't see how it will increase revenue from funding. And if the student forgets their ID at school when they skip, their chip says they are there. HOw about handing it off to their pals that have the same classes as them when they want to skip school? I mean, they can say 'prove I wasn't there, check my RFID chip'. I guess that would be a more solid case for the student than attendance by the teacher (although admittedly all of the other students in the class would be witness to someone not being in class that day). It doesn't stop truancy, so how does it make them money?


    Comment by QuinnMae (original poster) at 8:19 PM on Oct. 7, 2012

  • I agree waste of money and a huge invasion or privacy,

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 8:21 PM on Oct. 7, 2012

  • I don't think I like it. Is it like chips in toll transponders and passports? I kind of don't my kids being tracked like that. What will they do with the data? Answer by Izsarejman

    Yes, it will be a chip in their student ID.  If you child loses their ID you have to pay $15 for a replacement.  Parents have expressed concerns that their personal information will be compromised or their children could be more susceptible to kidnapping if someone handles the information incorrectly.  I don't know what the chances of kidnapping are, but I can totally see the point about compromising their identity and personal information. 


    Comment by QuinnMae (original poster) at 8:24 PM on Oct. 7, 2012

  • and how easy would skipping classes be! lol.

    'Hey John! Will you carry my card around in your wallet next Friday? There's this thing I want to go to at the video game store. I will do it for you next week I swear!'

    Answer by But_Mommie at 8:28 PM on Oct. 7, 2012

  • Anyone else immediately think of the scandal of the school that sent home laptops with webcams that could be remotely accessed?

    Answer by NotPanicking at 8:29 PM on Oct. 7, 2012