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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 (292,696 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (31)
  • i would leave my ID in my locker and skip like crazy...just like i did in high school (almost every single morning!). its wasteful spending and i dont see how it will do anything but get the schools more money for lots of lost IDs.

    Answer by okmanders at 12:29 AM on Oct. 8, 2012

  • Wifi does not read RFID. A reader must send out a charge that activates the RF antenna so it can be read. No batteries.

    No, Wifi connects them to the database. These are being used for high school campuses, in Texas. In other words, campuses that use multiple buildings and include deluxe football stadiums. They are pointless if they're not portable.

    The same technology used to steal credit card info from the cards using RFID chips. Small and portable.

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

  • I don't like isn't much of a leap to start monitoring them out of school. Whatever happened to the school employees actually doing their job...and knowing where your kid is during the school day?

    If they brought this here I would homeschool.

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 8:48 PM on Oct. 8, 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 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

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

    Not me.  Why did that pop into your head? 

    I admit though, after reading your answer I started to wonder how realistic is it that they can only use it on campus, that they can't see it anywhere off of campus?  I don't buy that.  I think the only way it can work is to make it used for truant students, to find them and haul their asses back to class. 


    Comment by QuinnMae (original poster) at 8:33 PM on Oct. 7, 2012

  • Not reading everything...sorry.

    I could see doing this for possibly COLLEGE students (which is what I thought it was for at first), but kids in elementary? Um NO.

    Answer by hopeandglory53 at 10:04 PM on Oct. 7, 2012

  • The same technology used to steal credit card info from the cards using RFID chips. Small and portable.
    I'll give you that. There are always possible ways to scam the system. The thing required for this is a close-proximity scan, about 4cms (credit cards are not long range). You practically have to brush up against a reader in order for info to be gathered. Credit card companies are now excluding names and pin numbers from the cards to counter this threat.

    The feasibility of tracking students outside of school with RFID just isn't realistic. That would require readers in every home and business, where every child has to flash his badge near one, and every reader be networked to the school system to collect the data. A few students could be scanned if a truant officer walked up to them, but that is a far cry from a teacher being able to stalk a student as you originally suggested.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 2:21 PM on Oct. 8, 2012

  • The feasibility of tracking students outside of school with RFID just isn't realistic.

    Then it's not realistic inside the school, either.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 3:45 PM on Oct. 8, 2012

  • I think there are just too many ways the student could use this to their advantage to actually spend less time in school with the help of their friends. It takes the responsibility off of the teachers and frankly I see the school system depending too much on technology to do things they are supposed to do. The cost is another issue, because these things don't come free. It usually ends up impacting property tax rates and unfortunately the people that own homes and don't have kids will end up paying even more for something that is unnecessary. Stepping over dollars to pick up dimes.


    Comment by QuinnMae (original poster) at 7:18 PM on Oct. 8, 2012