It was only a matter of time. In order to keep kids coming to class, the
Anaheim Union High School District is implementing a controversial new
system: giving out GPS
units for students to track there whereabouts.
It's honestly not as invasive as it sounds at first, but it's still
pushing the envelope of "comfort" and "privacy." The system is designed
to hand out tracking devices to students and parents if the kid (in 7th
or 8th grade) has over four unexcused absences this year. If the parents
and kid agrees, they're given a cellphone-sized GPS device that asks
them to check-in at various times during the day -- all a way to help
them avoid skipping class.
Each student with a tracker also gets a coach who calls them at least
three times per week to see how things are going. The school district
feels that kids who skip class are way more likely to join a gang or
otherwise get into trouble, so keeping them in the classroom is good for
a number of reasons. The good news is that this is a volunteer program,
and it's designed to teach better habits rather than to feel like
It's still quite odd, and will likely take some getting used to.
Obviously, not everyone is totally supportive of the measure, but we
have to ask: if your kid was skipping class constantly, would you want
something like this in his/her pocket?