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Students Tracked By RFID 866

Posted by timothy
from the government-schooling dept.
TheMeuge writes "The New York Times is reporting a new development in the unrelenting progress of the RFID juggernaut. The school district of Spring, Texas has adopted RFID as a way to track students' arrival and departure. Upon being scanned, the data are transmitted to both the school administrators, as well as city police. I guess cutting class is no longer an option."
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Students Tracked By RFID

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  • barcode (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:26AM (#10840810)
    If you want to track people, why not just tattoo a bar code on the forehead.
    • Re:barcode (Score:5, Funny)

      by SunPin (596554) <slashspam@NoSpaM.cyberista.com> on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:20AM (#10841130) Homepage
      If you want to track people, why not just tattoo a bar code on the forehead.


      Because the barcode tattoo is _so_ 1984.

  • Cutting Class (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aonnix (612879) <{dhusea} {at} {student.gvsu.edu}> on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:26AM (#10840811)
    It should be easier to cut class now. Just give your tag to your buddy, and the school's computers will think your there.
    • Re:Cutting Class (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Repugnant_Shit (263651) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:28AM (#10840826)
      That won't be a problem once the subdermal tags arrive.
      • Re:Cutting Class (Score:4, Interesting)

        by hummassa (157160) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:35AM (#10840869) Homepage Journal
        Simple, yet. You just put a tinfoil leave over the subdermal patch and leave the premises. The computer will still think you are inside.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          You just put a tinfoil leave over the subdermal patch and leave the premises.

          And still some people think that tinfoil hats are of no use.

          Tightens his tinfoil hat.
      • Re:Cutting Class (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Dwonis (52652) *
        (+5, Insightful??)

        Anyway, subdermal tags are no match for an MRI... :-)

      • by ikkonoishi (674762) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @11:57AM (#10842467) Journal
        And "cutting" class takes on a whole new meaning.
      • Re:Cutting Class (Score:5, Informative)

        by quarkscat (697644) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @12:19PM (#10842668)
        (Former?) Ed. Secretary Paige's "success" in
        the Houston, TX educational system was based
        upon faked data. Students that did poorly
        were moved to another school district, while
        the majority of dropouts were never designated
        as such. Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

        His "success" in Houston was the premise for
        Bush's "No Child Left Behind" program, which
        has brought little success but much turmoil
        to school districts across the nation. This
        is largely due to it being a Federal, albeit
        woefully underfunded, mandate.

        RFID tags, particularly implanted RFID tags,
        for students is the wave of the future. And
        when many of these students do drop out of
        school, they will feel equally at home with a
        minimum wage job at their local Wal-Mart, which
        eventually will require their employees to be
        RFID-tagged, along with their stock of WMD
        (Wal-Mart Merchandise Dumping).

        In reality, our calenders should be altered
        to reflect that "1984" was the start of a new
        epoch, rather than just a prescient sci-fi
        novel.
    • Re:Cutting Class (Score:5, Interesting)

      by double-oh three (688874) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:28AM (#10841210)
      Yeah, but I think the teachers will get suspiscious when there's only one kid in the class with buldging pockets.

      My real problem is what will happen when they get lost. My school instituted mandatory photo ID cards this year and pretty much everyday there's a crowd of 20-100+ teenagers outside the main office waiting for temporary IDs. Personally I havn't worn mine in two weeks and no one has noticed, so~

      I'm also wondering why it would be nessisary to CC the police on who didn't show up in the morning.

      Not to mention the fact that someone could track anyone in the school after they figure out which RFID is theirs. I think that's a much bigger invasion of privacy than having to wear photo IDs. I have no doubt that this will be spreading to other counties and states in the near future so I'm glad I'm graduating next year. Saves me the trouble of explaining why my RFID badge has become a finely ground white powder.
      • Re:Cutting Class (Score:3, Informative)

        by Twanfox (185252)
        Not to mention the fact that someone could track anyone in the school after they figure out which RFID is theirs.

        Not necessarily true, depending on the quality of the RFID badge and scanners. Have you ever seen those credit card like cards that companies use for secured access? Ever wondered "How they do that?" RFID. While I'm not a big fan of RFID on everything, carrying a badge with such a tag is commonplace for companies with secured areas. Oddly enough, dispite that, there still isn't a way to put a

        • Re:Cutting Class (Score:4, Insightful)

          by mforbes (575538) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @11:10AM (#10842053)
          Where the issue is security, the RFID cards are used to keep doors unlocked unless a card is read to unlock them. This seems to be much more about tracking the comings & goings of students who already belong.

          Kind of interesting, since school security has two main concerns: keeping students where they belong (but with enough flexibility to allow them to leave for doctor's appointments, etc), and keeping out people who don't belong-- the divorced parent who lost custody but is determined to keep their child at any cost, for instance.

          Oh well, it's not like minors have rights in the US, so the schools are pretty much free to do what they want in this regard.
      • Re:Cutting Class (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cayenne8 (626475)
        "My school instituted mandatory photo ID cards this year and pretty much everyday there's a crowd of 20-100+ teenagers outside the main office waiting for temporary IDs. Personally I havn't worn mine in two weeks and no one has noticed, so~"

        Wow....school has sure changed since I went (I'm assuming high school). We had a photo id card, but, didn't have to 'wear' it...and frankly, I don't remember ever having to use it for anything after we got it...maybe to check books out of the library or something.

        Do t

      • Why ? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bmajik (96670) <matt@mattevans.org> on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @12:40PM (#10842922) Homepage Journal
        I'm also wondering why it would be nessisary to CC the police on who didn't show up in the morning

        Because the public school system in the United States is a holding pen and work/release program for those not yet legally required to work and pay taxes.

        The police need to know when prisoners have escaped, don't they?
  • Insanity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by david_594 (735508) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:26AM (#10840814)
    If I were still in High School I think i would be scared of this. RFID technology seems great for tracking shippments and such, but to track students like this seem pretty insane.
    • Re:Insanity (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jokumuu (831894) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:38AM (#10840884)
      Well, the thing is, actually tracking anything is with this technology is the scary part. The actual use by a school is just the tip of the iceberg. I am sure that in future every person will be tracked "for their safety". I think that some small town will probably go for something like this at some point "to fight crime"
      • Re:Insanity (Score:3, Interesting)

        by AK Marc (707885)
        Well, the thing is, actually tracking anything is with this technology is the scary part.

        It is insane to use RFIDs to track runners in a marathon? This has been done for over 10 years. It makes for a greatly reduced error rate for time reporting. It is cheaper than hiring people to sit at the finish line to record times. It allows immediate results tied to a person. If anything is insane, it is a person with an irrational fear of non-contact tags. They have been used for over 20 years in various imp
        • Re:Insanity (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DZign (200479)
          and have a near zero rate of illegal duplication, an absolute zero rate of misuse of the types of misuses discussed here, and they are effective.

          And why is there a near-zero rate up to now ?
          Because up they were used in such specific situations where usually nobody could have personal gain from misusing them.

          Once the technology gets more widespread, people may have valid reasons to crack or misuse the system and will find a way around it.
        • Re:Insanity (Score:3, Insightful)

          by HeghmoH (13204)
          There is a huge difference between a marathon and a school.

          The participants in a marathon are all consenting adults. They are able to refuse to participate. The students in a school are children who have no choice about attending.

          RFID is different from all previous forms of identification because it's the only one which can be reliably read from a distance without your consent. Remember that the short range of these devices is simply due to the power and sensitivity of the detector. Bluetooth isn't suppos
          • Re:Insanity (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Frobnicator (565869)
            I agree with your comments about kids NOT consenting. As their parent, I wouldn't consent to my kids being tracked, and having their info sent to the police.

            Just like I wouldn't consent to my boss installing a tracker for when I arrive at work. Although they already use electronic door keycards to unlock the outside door, usually enough people arrive at the same time that only one or two people get scanned for the large group. And there's always people who forgot their cards and nobody knows.

            I'm not

    • Re:Insanity (Score:3, Informative)

      by lachlan76 (770870)
      Being in high school now, I'd have to agree with you.

      You have no idea how fucked up your country looks from down under.
    • Re:Insanity (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tomstdenis (446163)
      The bigger problem I see is you can't really force discipline and respect on children anyways. I mean you can show them how their actions have consequences and all but if the child doesn't take it upon themselves to straighten up there isn't much you can.

      For instance, a couple of years ago [ok so roughly 8 or so] the high school I went to started a "10 missed classes and you're suspended". Did that stop skipping? Did that make the students more respectful of the teachers and their peers [specially in g
      • Re:Insanity (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Grym (725290) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:16AM (#10841110)

        So left to their own devices most children would come around on their own. The ones who don't want to can live exciting lives with a grade 10 education.

        But you do realize that, in this wonderful democracy of ours, their vote will count just as much--maybe more if they're in Ohio--as yours, right? Will you be so flippant with regard to their education and "exciting lives" when you have to pay more in taxes to help pay for their welfare check and/or jail term?

        My point is, our children, including the "dumb" ones, matter. Our FUTURE matters. Children are affected by not only by what we say but also what we do. If we set forth an example that it's OKAY for the authorities to monitor your every movement for our children now, how much easier do you think it will be able to convince them unwarranted searches are similarly okay in the future?

        -Grym

        • Re:Insanity (Score:3, Interesting)

          by tomstdenis (446163)
          I'll let you in on a little tip. Until your 18 in Canada [at least] you're not actually allowed [by law] to skip classes. The school is responsible for your well being during the day and if you go missing it's them who get looked at [at least initially].

          Ever hear the saying "you can show a horse the water but you can't make him drink?" that's not just clever it's also what the christian right would call "divine". While I'm not a religious type I do swing for "choice".

          It's upto the 14 year old kid to *c
          • Re:Insanity (Score:3, Interesting)

            by chialea (8009)
            >It's because of people like you that I sit in a college where "easy tests" is a good thing.

            *cough*

            I thought "easy tests" were a good thing. on the other hand, that was becasue I thought preparing for tests wa a waste of time. if I can't walk in an do very well, I don't know the material well enough, or the test is badly written.

            example: multivariate calculus. 6-problem exams, where each problem was quite trivial if you knew the material and pretty much impossible if you didn't. now that is a good tes
        • Re:Insanity (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Dashing Leech (688077)
          Will you be so flippant with regard to their education and "exciting lives" when you have to pay more in taxes to help pay for their welfare check and/or jail term?

          That's not really a sound argument. The same could be said for anything we do that ends up costing tax payers money. People with bigger cars do more damage to the road. People who eat poorly require more medical attention (more hospitals, more medicare -- and in Canada health care is a direct drain on taxes). Are you saying we should regula

          • Re:Insanity (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Ba3r (720309)

            Its hard to seperate government regulation and a free country.

            With less regulation it is more difficult to maintain an orderly society , which consequently puts limits on how much an individual can do because of the massive effort that is needed just to deal with the entropy of daily life.

            A heavily regulated society will provide a baseline of order so that citizens can ignore the basics of day to day life, and concentrate on more complex things. But too much regulation makes a very rapid switch from fre

        • Re:Insanity (Score:3, Insightful)

          by kabocox (199019)
          If we set forth an example that it's OKAY for the authorities to monitor your every movement for our children now, how much easier do you think it will be able to convince them unwarranted searches are similarly okay in the future?

          School childern are already trained not to put up a fuss about school wide locker searches or searching of persons. Now they are being taught that have any concealing containers on you is wrong. How much longer until all school clothing is see through for a security measure?
  • Funny (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:27AM (#10840816)
    How prejudice and invasive technologies always attack those who cannot defend themselves first. I give it 5 years and you'll see rfid on vehicles or national id's. I mean you have a license plate now, whats the dif between that and rfid. right, right, nudge nudge.

    Thank you idiot america.
  • by Xeo 024 (755161) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:27AM (#10840817)
    They won't be able to scan me as long as I hvae my tin foil hat on, right?
  • Mark of the Beast (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cuteseal (794590)
    Hm... I wonder if this is coming closer to the Mark of the Beast that the bible talks about?

    In Australia, they use now swipe cards to check attendance at schools. Swiping at a terminal brings up a mugshot of the student on the screen, so the staff member can perform a visual check to see why Abdul Habib has blue eyes and long blonde hair...

    • Re:Mark of the Beast (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mant (578427) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:11AM (#10841083) Homepage

      I wonder if this is coming closer to the Mark of the Beast that the bible talks about?

      How can it be? Revaltions it was an apocalyptic writing (one of many) about the state of the Christian church at that time, under threat from both overt source (persecution) and more subtle ones (people lured to other faiths, such as worship of the Roman emporer).

      Whatever the Mark of the Beast was supposed to be, it was something that existed then, not now. So it can't be RFID tags. Revelations was never a prophecey or prediction.

      A quick Google turned up this [wcg.org] which looks like a good starting point for finding out about apocalyptic writings.

  • RFID circumvention (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shadowmas (697397) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:31AM (#10840839)
    soon we'll be learning tons of ways to circumvent RFIDs. kids are very good at finding out ways to circumvent stuff like this. nomatter how good a system might be when it goes against lots of kids with a lot of time on there hands and new ways of thinking i wonder how long it will take b4 kids find away around this.
    • by lachlan76 (770870) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:46AM (#10840934)
      Disclaimer: I am 15

      • Aluminium foil
      • Coming to school and leaving it in my locker
      • Hack the computer system
      • Buying a similar model, reprogramming it, and getting someone to take it to your classes, if need be


      And finally, if they eventually decide to implant:
      • Knife...most people won't go this fat to get out of class, but I don't feel much pain anyway



      Thos are just the things I thought of in the last two minutes. I could probably think of more more.
      • allergic reaction (Score:5, Interesting)

        by PerpetualMotion (550623) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:11AM (#10841090)
        Why use a knife? Find a little poison ivy or something similar, get yourself a bad rash on and around the area implanted, and claim you are having an allergic reaction. They will take it out. Get everyone else in school to do the same.

        You have the poison ivy, you know what to do with the people who don't play along.
  • by pklong (323451) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:31AM (#10840845) Homepage Journal
    Where am I?
    In the School

    What do you want?
    Information

    Whose side are you on?
    That would be telling . . .

    We want Information
    You won't get it

    By hook or by crook . . .
    We will

    Who are you?
    The new Number Two

    Who is Number One?
    You are Number Six

    I am not a number . . .
    I'm a free man!
    (Mocking laughter)
  • Freedom to monitor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Homology (639438) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:32AM (#10840846)
    Upon being scanned, the data are transmitted to both the school administrators, as well as city police.

    The official USA propaganda is that the rest of the world envy USA because of it's freedom. Well, I don't envy the freedom US authorities has to continously monitoring anyone for no reason at all.

  • by exeme (831902) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:33AM (#10840853)
    Pretty freaky "Big Brother" stuff, but I guess its a good way to track students. But then I remember school being better when the trouble makers wern't there beating up us nerds..
  • by WCMI92 (592436) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:34AM (#10840856) Homepage
    Something tells me the black market in RFID jammers and duplicators is going to be rampant...

    This is totally wrong. You are compelled by law to attend school. Most can't afford to NOT go to government school. Now the government is tagging people like animals.

    Be VERY afraid of the first RFID generation, ones who grow up with this commonplace, who never knew an age without it. Who will thing we are a bunch of kooks for opposing it.

    That is why those who want to social engineer people ALWAYS want to start with the schools...
    • by sckeener (137243) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:19AM (#10841128)
      Be VERY afraid of the first RFID generation, ones who grow up with this commonplace, who never knew an age without it. Who will think we are a bunch of kooks for opposing it.

      That is why those who want to social engineer people ALWAYS want to start with the schools...


      I've always wondered how we can expect our kids to fight for liberty later when we gave them none.

      How can you miss something you never had?
      • by ajs (35943) <ajs@ a j s . com> on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @11:43AM (#10842318) Homepage Journal
        I've always wondered how we can expect our kids to fight for liberty later when we gave them none.

        If you mean "fight" in the sense of soldiering, don't worry that's the easy part. The mental conditioning that is employed in the military (any military) is designed to enhance the bonds that men (mostly men, though women take to it, the bonds are different, as they provoke more of a defensive than offensive FoF reflex) form in small social groups. The end result is that to a soldier "freedom" is like a team name. You might as well say "Red Sox". If you think that can't be the case because soldiers are willing to die "for freedom", think about what would happen if you killed a member of a baseball team. The other players would be willing to kill and/or die to either prevent or avenge that killing, even though they probably never knew each other before joining the team. Such is the power of the team instinct in humans.

        So, you could call an opressive dictatorship "freedom", just as long as your soldiers are indoctrinated to defend it.

        The real question is a much more frightening one: how can we expect our kids to defend freedom as our future leaders when we didn't given them any as children? To what depths will our future judges, congresspersons and presidents sink when they have been treated like this growing up?

        That one keeps me up at night.
  • Maybe this is a case (Score:5, Interesting)

    by antifoidulus (807088) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:35AM (#10840864) Homepage Journal
    of law suits gone too far. It seems recently the trend has been to blame the school for whatever trouble a kid causes, and since the school may have difficulty tracking down individual students and whether or not they were on campus, the school may very well end up being responsible. At least this way the schools can say definitievely whether or not someone came(provided they actually still have their rfid, w hich may be a big assumption)
  • Wonder why (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chennes (263526) * on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:36AM (#10840873) Homepage
    In an age when parents are suing schools for not keeping adequate track of their children (see http://www.overlawyered.com/archives/001699.html) is this any wonder?
    • Re:Wonder why (Score:3, Insightful)

      by npsimons (32752)

      In an age when parents are suing schools for not keeping adequate track of their children (see http://www.overlawyered.com/archives/001699.html) is this any wonder?

      Am I the only one who thinks that the solution to this is not more invasions of privacy (via tags), but less legal bullshit (via less lawyers, more personal responsibility, and less stupid laws)?
  • by RandoX (828285) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:39AM (#10840890)
    If the student to teacher ratio is so large that the instructor can't even accurately take role, what is the level of education going to be like?
  • by Zemran (3101) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:41AM (#10840905) Homepage Journal
    This is the sort of thing we would have screamed about if China had done it a few years ago and now we just accept it. The East is moving West as quickly as the West is moving East. Soon they will occupy the moral high ground.
  • Ferris Bueller (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jumbo Jimbo (828571) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:44AM (#10840925)
    We can all watch Matthew Broderick skip class and reminisce about the days when this used to be possible - it'll become a period piece of a bygone age, along with Remains of the Day and Little Women.
  • by joelparker (586428) <joel@school.net> on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:45AM (#10840929) Homepage
    From the article:
    • a few schools have begun monitoring student arrivals and departures using technology similar to that used to track livestock and pallets of retail shipments.
    And adults wonder why our kids aren't learning important ideas like responsibility...
  • by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreak.eircom@net> on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:47AM (#10840943) Homepage Journal
    Are these guys trying to piss off the volcano!?

    Seriously, most proponents of RFID technology site its benefits in stock and supply line management only, and keep assurring us that RFID tags embedded in products will never be used to track people.
    And yet we're now seeing instances of the middleman, i.e the product tag, being bypassed altogether and people being tagged outright. Is this really what RFID was developed for in the first place? Tracking people?

    OK, these people are children. But that doesn't make this any less wrong. First criminals, then kids. They'll start on employees next, move it up to registered drivers, you'll see.

    Of course tagging children has nothing to do with their safety. Anyone who says so is a liar or an idiot. As has been mentioned numerous times, the legions of pedophiles that lurk outside scholl gates every day will simply take off the tag, as will the kids when they want to leave for that matter. Of course the response from RFIDphiles is "Let's implant the tag subdermally!!!! FOREVER!!!! What a great(completeely consistent with a free society) idea!!!". *Sigh*. Why can't so many people think past their next meal?

    The purpose of RFID tracking people is to cause a chilling effect. This is denied in the case of children and the public, but is the primary reason given for tagging criminals. Bit of a contridiction there. Effectively tagging children is a form of control, and an extreamly invasive one at that. I don't care what age I am, or who you are. No-one should know and have a documented record of my exact movements. Period. You want to protect your kids? Sit down and talk with them once in a while. Find out where they go rather than right clicking on a toolbar icon to see where they are. Don't squash their, or my, freedoms just because your too busy watching fear factor to look after your own kids.

    And of course when I start using by blocker tag, I'll be accused of aiding pedophiles and endangering the children. Won't someone please think of the children!!? I am!

    I'm ready for people to start with the tinfoil hat cracks, but to them I say, this is the exact kind of thing you said would never happen!! Well it's happening right now! What are you going to do about it.

    RFID tracking is data rape.
    • by Tim C (15259) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:19AM (#10841127)
      Seriously, most proponents of RFID technology site its benefits in stock and supply line management only, and keep assurring us that RFID tags embedded in products will never be used to track people.
      And yet we're now seeing instances of the middleman, i.e the product tag, being bypassed altogether and people being tagged outright. Is this really what RFID was developed for in the first place? Tracking people?


      Hhhhmmmmmm, odd that - that there's a product that most people think would be really useful for this one particular (benign) use, but that a minority want to use for bad things. Can't see how that could ever happen with any other technology.

      You're right, this is wrong, and no I would not submit my daughter to this sort of treatment (and yes, I do actually have a daughter). But you seem to be implying that

      a) this was an inevitable (ab)use of RFID technology
      b) this one dubious use should see the tech banned/shunned despite all other legitimate uses

      As with all things, don't blame the technology itself for the use to which some people put it. Do that, and you'll end up banning all tech, including sharp sticks and fire.

      RFID tracking is data rape.

      That makes you sound like an extremist; I'd suggest that if you're serious about fighting things like this that you avoid such emotive language. You'll piss off more people than you sway with it.
  • Just Imagine (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hoplite3 (671379) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:51AM (#10840972)
    What if they had spent that money on making kids want to go to school? I went to Texas public schools. No, I survived them. The one I attended was divided neatly into honors and regular classes. In the regulars classes, you learned how to take the TAAS (this test was required for graduation and pushed as a part of school accountability under the last federal administration). If you were in honors, you learned how to take the AP exam.

    Needless to say, not many people were really turned on to learn. Because nothing of substance was being taught.

    Personally, I think that large school reforms are in order. Let's divide students into classes with the type of instruction that suits them best. Let's not teach college prep to everyone, they'll resent it. Few people really connect with the idea of liberal arts anyway (even in college, I was a bit surprised) and it forms the basis for most highschool course requirements. Articles I've seen recently say that boys are doing poorly in American schools. It looks like all girls schools in England do significantly better than comparable coed schools, especially in math and science. Maybe gender segregation would help. Girls seem to be intimidated by boys in these subjects, and boys need more structure and encouragement. There's a lack of adolescent-to-adult ritual in our country. Maybe this could help provide what truant students are missing.

    It would be preferable to humiliation like this RFID crap.
    • Re:Just Imagine (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Tryfen (216209) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:06AM (#10841052) Homepage
      A study was done at my old school (UK).

      Turns out the girls do far better in single-sex class rooms.

      But boys do better in mixed set class room!

      Quite how you solve that, I don't know.
    • Re:Just Imagine (Score:5, Informative)

      by ifwm (687373) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:24AM (#10841169) Journal
      "What if they had spent that money on making kids want to go to school?"

      Ok, let's hear some ideas. I'm a teacher, so I'll be ecstatic to get some help in this area. Before you begin though, understand that we're state mandated to provide instruction on specific topics in a specific timeframe. We also have to make sure that no one is left out of activities, or if they are, develop an alernative activity. We also have to make sure that Susie who takes one day to learn plate tectonics doesn't get too far ahead of Johnny who takes 4 days. We also...

      I hope you see the point. School simply isn't fun most of the time. No matter how you slice it, some things are boring to teach and boring to learn. Couple this with restrictions on teaching techniques, budget problems, and over protective parents, and I'm amazed anything get's taught.

      • Re:Just Imagine (Score:4, Insightful)

        by HeghmoH (13204) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @11:43AM (#10842321) Homepage Journal
        We also have to make sure that Susie who takes one day to learn plate tectonics doesn't get too far ahead of Johnny who takes 4 days.

        This bizarre belief that every student should advance in their knowledge at exactly the same rate is the primary reason I hated all of my schooling until I got to college. Why shouldn't Susie get too far ahead of Johnny? Why shouldn't she be able to spend those three extra days learning the subject in more depth, or painting, or playing in the sandbox?

        From the beginning of elementary school to the end of high school, I suffered from this. I pick things up quickly and don't need a lot of repetition. As a result, I was forced to do a great deal of homework that I didn't need, attend classes that weren't interesting, and I generally hated the experience. (Not everything was this way, but close.) Once I got to college, where homework is more of a check than a forced study aid, where classes are dense, and where people are expected to do more on their own if they need practice, things got a lot better.

        I realize the situation is different at the lower levels, and I don't have a proposed solution, but I still believe that this idea that all children must learn at approximately the same rate, and they must stay in a group of other children with exactly the same age, is one of the more poisonous ones in our educational system.
  • Required implants (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hrvatska (790627) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:54AM (#10840985)
    Where this is leading is required RFID implants. The requirement will initially start out with groups that most of us don't care about, like convicted felons. Next, maybe immigrants. Then it'll start creeping into other sectors of society. Eventually you'll see a wide range of jobs where this is required. Perhaps nursing, police and emergency workers. Then it will start to be required for normal activities. Like you won't be able to board an airline without an RFID implant. The initial selling point will be that it speeds up boarding. And then it'll be required for driver licenses. Can't be too secure after all. I think it's inevitable.
  • The Police? (Score:5, Funny)

    by 955301 (209856) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @08:55AM (#10840991) Journal
    And I suppose the RFID's of the criminal element of the school will transmit data with the Evil Bit turned on? Shouldn't it be a word, or at least a few more bits?

    000 - Nothing to see here.
    001 - normal kid with mischevious mind. Watch for changes. May be intimidated back to 000 with minor police brutality.
    010 - Thief. Arrest if lingering in the parking lot or around school supply cabinets.
    011 - Fighter. Arrest if having an animated discussion with any 000's they don't normally congregate with or other 011's.
    100 - Stabby. Arrest when outer perimiter metal detectors are set off. Notify cafeteria to dispense plastic silverware to the 100 and immediately surrounding 000's. Exhibits 011 behavior, follow guidelines accordingly.
    101 - Brandisher. Arrest when outer perimiter detectors are set off and body mass = yesterday's + #g of any known gun + various # of bullets/magazines.Exhibits 011 behavior, follow guidelines accordingly.
    110 - Shooter. Arrest immediately. If no gun is found, plant one or make an announcement that arresting them was the right thing to do.
    111 - Dealer. "Accidently" shut fire doors on 111's crushing them to death. Accompany disposed of body with a 110, some stray bullets, and drug paraphenalia.

    Yeah, they definately need more Evil Bits...

  • excelent alibi (Score:4, Insightful)

    by C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:06AM (#10841048) Journal
    1- go to school
    2- leave the RFID tag there (or wrap tinfoil in your arm if is subdermal)
    3- leave the school
    4- comit a crime
    5- ???
    6- profit

    #5 could prety much be "don't worry with police. they think you were in school".

    thei're just giving students an excelent, state sanctioned alibi.

    i watched a movie once about a gang that used british prision system as alibi. they all comited light crimes (no more than 6 months jail time), then they broke of the jail, stole a roll of paper from the comapny that prints brit money, printed a batch of bills, hide the money, returned to jail.

    when the police found about the stolen paper, they dismissed the gang as suspects because they were all in jail, end were still there.

    do i see something like this happening in texas ?
    • oh yeah dude? well i watched a movie once where a wacky gang of (mostly) american criminals used an EMP to knock out las vegas' power system for 30 seconds and used the ensuing chaos to break into a casino and steal a lot of money! but they hacked into the security system so it looked like they were somewhere else and fooled the evil casino owner, and george clooney stole his girlfriend!

      do i see george clooney coming to michgan to steal my girlfriend?! i think so! that is why i'm covering my apartment i
  • by gelfling (6534) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:06AM (#10841051) Homepage Journal
    So here's the stat that just required the schoolbook publisher to make changes in their books so that now marriage is strictly a lifelong relationship between a man and a woman (BTW Texas has one of the highest divorce rates in the country) and another change to call evolution an unproven theory.

    Now we have soccermoms micromanaging their own children's every movement with an eye in the sky.

    Welcome to George Bush's America.
    • by edwdig (47888)
      and another change to call evolution an unproven theory.

      We can never prove that man evolved from apes. We can find evidence to suggest that it's highly likely that it happened, but that's as far as we can go.

      Well, if you invent time travel and set out to document you entirely ancestry all the way back to an ape, you could prove it, but I wouldn't bet on the odds of that happening.

      So yes, evolution is an unproven theory. It just happens to best one that we have at the moment.
  • by marco0009 (716718) <marco0009@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:06AM (#10841055)
    I currently attend a Texas High School and I am quite glad that I will be graduating come spring of '05. I've seen my school dump the largest portion of its funds into the football team which then proceeded to loose every game, while our science wing must deal with outdated equipment, aging textbooks, and in many cases if the teacher is not an honors teacher, they have no idea what it is they are teaching. Our mathematics department is in the same condition.

    This is just a slight example of how ill-directed our administrator's are. They are easily blinded by people who have even the slightest ability to market a service or product, and I would not be in the least surprised to see that my class mates are all tagged with RFID in some form or fashion at the start of the next school year.

  • homeschool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cascadingstylesheet (140919) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:28AM (#10841204)

    And make sure your state doesn't mess with the homeschool law(s).

    It's not like there's really any educational excellence to be missed there (the fallacy of the false alternative). Public schools don't have the power to protect your kids, and as this story illustrates, you wouldn't want them to have the kind of power that they would need anyway.

  • Priorities? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by value_added (719364) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:35AM (#10841277)

    When the district unanimously approved the $180,000 system, neither teachers nor parents objected ... Rather, parents appear to be applauding. "I'm sure we're being overprotective, but you hear about all this violence," said Elisa Temple-Harvey, 34, the parent of a fourth grader. "I'm not saying this will curtail it, or stop it, but at least I know she made it to campus."

    "We've been fortunate; we haven't had a kidnapping," Mr. Weisinger said. "But if it works one time finding a student who has been kidnapped, then the system has paid for itself."

    So, let me see if I get this right -- crime rates have been going down for years and are at historical lows, but people are worried more than ever about crimes they "hear about."

    Without investigating, I'd wager that the odds of being kidnapped are much lower than than those of being struck by lightning, lower still than being run over by a car at a crosswalk, and lower still that little Johnny or Susie will drop out of school altogether.

    Maybe the money would be better spent on textbooks? Or teachers? Nah ... let's spend money to fix a problem we don't really have so that we can satisfy the need to believe we're doing something. For the children's sake, of course.

  • Zero sum situation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Not Public (257178) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:37AM (#10841294) Homepage
    we (parents, teachers, students, employers, etc.. are going to lose in this.

    I am a teacher, parent & employers of 16-23 year olds. We've set the education system up for failure, and it will continue to fail at amazing rate as desperate "solutions" such as this are thrown at the system until it kills a substantial percentage of the nation's youth.

    first and foremost- I'm going to say I blame the parents. (woohoo! watch that karma drop!) none of this would be necessary if the children were taught, or had it modeled for them, or had the values embedded in them that education was of value. That and the parents are going to have to suck it up and be the bad guy, be the hardass, be the one make certain the child is held accountable for their actions.

    A large part of the problem is that the system relieves parents of their duties of parenting. And then in turn holds schools responsible, and then in turn holds teachers responsible.

    But guess what, with all the responsibilities and duties and irrelevant tasks that have been placed on teachers- they have no time to teach. In fact, persons with any passion or desire to pass on knowledge and skills in a field are quickly driven out because they don't spend enough time doing attendance in the correct manner, because they don't spend enough time preparing children for a standardized test, because they don't document a complete and unique separate lesson plan/learning system FOR EACH CHILD.

    Which, if we allowed those children to who really wanted to learn, to be in the classes of those who really wanted to teach... (in my opinion) making individual plans wouldn't be so bad because you're not trying to force material down the throat of a child who simply doesn't care. As teachers we can't make them care, and yet parents and then administrators, and even future employers, are blaming us for students coming out without a work ethic, without a sense of responsibility, pride in their work, or the common sense to believe that they should show up on time, or do the task they were given through to completion.

    how's this relevant to the RFID tags? I used to live in Spring and taught in the district next to it. They're actually a pretty "calm" district comparatively. Not way out on the forefront of education, not in the ghettos. Just another suburban district on the outskirts of a large city. (I've heard rumor that even people in NY and LA recognize Houston as a "large city"). They have the luxury if you will, to try to throw new technology at old problems. they have some cash apparently, they're not having to spend it on metal detectors for every door, but tardiness and skipping? the tags them selves i would imagine are relatively cheap, and the scanners not too bad compared to some of the other ludicrous expenditures I've seen (and while teacher salaries fall in that category, its on the lower end of the spectrum).

    I can see how easily this could be sold to a school board, teachers and administrators. School board finally has some means of knowing where every child is. Administrators don't have to spend a fraction of their existing resources to implement or monitor this new system, and if done right, teachers are no longer responsible for the tedious tasks of attendance. (which in and of itself wouldn't be a problem if you didn't have 35 kids all coming in tardy-with various levels/legitimacies of excuses). Only the poor tech resource folks are contemplating suicide.

    But as another poster pointed out.. it does nothing for the kids except for give them something else to hate and manipulate. It doesn't hold them responsible for anything.

    It doesn't actually DO anything.

  • by ayjay29 (144994) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @11:20AM (#10842122)
    At lunch break, get 500 kids in a big group to run in and out through a few times. This is gonna create a LOT of traffic on the RFID system. Better still, get all the schools in the area to do the same thing at the same time.

  • by man_ls (248470) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @11:31AM (#10842208)
    an act in Congress making it a Felony to claim any measure, be it legal, technological, medical, etc. is to "protect the children" without statistically incontrovertible proof that children are being "harmed" in the first place.

    No more "Family Movies Act of 2004" banning skipping of commercials. No more COPPA Act, keeping kids off the Internet. etc.
  • by GauteL (29207) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @11:38AM (#10842266)
    While I do agree that on general kids should be in school, and certain measures should be put up to make them.

    However, nothing gets seriously broken by kids skipping classes very occasionally. How square are the kids supposed to be?

    Kids that are allowed a certain freedom and have some possibility of opposing authority grow up far more interesting.

    Just think how interesting you find a person who has never skipped class, never talked back at their parents etc.

    The truth is, the parental generation have always tried to impose severe restrictions on the younger generation, and the younger generation have always broken them. This is the way of life. The moment we make it impossible for kids to break their parents rules, we have changed the game in a way I don`t think we see the consequences of.

    It is ironic that we impose millions of laws and regulations, but the majority actually disrespects people that always live by them.

    There are certain things every (semi) interesting person have done. If you have never done any of the following you need to get out more:
    1. Skip class
    2. Go above the speed limit
    3. Take a u-turn where it wasn't allowed, but noone was around.
    4. Drink or smoke without being allowed to do so
    5. Sneak in somewhere you don't belong.

    I will put up rules for my children and I will be fairly strict about some of them. But if my children never breaks my rules I would be suspicious that they are hiding something major, or disappointed that my kids grew up to be that square.

    A well balanced human being bends or breaks rules now and then, but know which rules they really should abide by. The important lesson is to teach the children which rules are absolute, and which can be bent a little.
  • by ShadyG (197269) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <cisumyargb>> on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @11:54AM (#10842441) Homepage
    My daughter is home-schooled. When the time comes, all of your children will be appropriately conditioned to submit to her every whim.
  • Don't tag everyone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mordaximus (566304) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @01:32PM (#10843642)
    Keep track of the troublemakers. If a student gets suspended for skipping, violence or something similar, tag em. Make it clear that students who break the rules x number of times will be tagged. Give them room to make mistakes, but make it understood that if they make too many, part of the punishment is intrusive observation.

    Likewise, I'd love to see convicted criminals tagged in someway. Wouldn't it be nice if store owners could identify convicted shoplifters when they enter the store? Sell a consumer scanner that will tell you if a convicted murderer or rapist is nearby when you go for your jog. Or if they are on your property! If your car alarm could sound when a car thief tag is nearby for too long.

    I know, there is too much potential for abuse. A man can dream though. And it would sure beat "that guy looks shady" as a method of identifying potential criminals :)

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