California Pre-Schoolers Getting Tracking Devices

from the let-the-computer-watch-'em dept

Apparently pre-schoolers in Contra Costa County are going to learn from an early age to get used to the idea that their every move will be tracked relentlessly. They're all going to get special jerseys to wear that contain an RFID tag, which will track the kids whereabouts at all times. The claim is it will even track "whether they've eaten or not," though I'm not quite sure how that works. The idea is that this will "free up teachers and administrators who previously had to note on paper files when a child was absent or had eaten." While I'm generally all for technology that makes processes more efficient, I'm not quite sure it makes sense to go full-on Big Brother here. Aren't there better technological solutions for tracking attendance and food intake. What about having the kid (or their parents) sign them in via a computer check-in (which is what I do with my kid)? As a parent, frankly, I don't think I'd be comfortable with a preschool tagging my kid with a tracking device.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Thomas (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 1:47pm

    Here's a thought ..

    What about, Oh I don't know ... PAYING ATTENTION TO THE CHILDREN IN YOUR CARE????


    Just my $0.02 ..

     

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  2.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Here's a thought ..

    That was my thought when I read the original article a few days ago...

     

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  3.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 1:51pm

    How are they going to force this on children? I mean, it seems like parents would object, and the plan would go out the window.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:06pm

    Next

    What if the kid takes the jersey off? What then? To solve that problem I suppose they'll just *have* to resort to the implanted type of chips.

    It's for the child's own good, you know.

     

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  5.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:20pm

    Huh?

    "What about having the kid (or their parents) sign them in via a computer check-in (which is what I do with my kid)?"

    Perhaps this is because I'm not yet a parent (that I know of....), but what are you doing this for? Is he logging in when he gets home and signing in to make sure he/she's back by curfew? Or are we talking about the Facebook check in thingy so when he/she says their going to the theatre you know they aren't actually going to the liquor store?

    Dark Helmet confused....

     

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  6.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Huh?

    Wait, NVM, totally misread that line. I assume you're talking about what you do when you take your child to school, not making him/her check in for you.

    Dark Helmet stupid....

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    Homeschooling is the solution.

     

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  8.  
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    TDR, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: Huh?

    Nah, I think you were just playing with your dolls again. That would confuse anyone. :p

     

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  9.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Huh?

    Two days of caring for a sick doggy and getting no sleep while working my day job and writing as much as possible takes its toll eventually.

    Hey....I'm *kinda* a parent....of my two dogs I mean. Plus, they're chipped.

    ....Great, add hypocrite to the list as well, I guess....

     

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  10.  
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    Jon B., Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:38pm

    RFID ain't GPS. At best, I imagine that they're tracking when the child moves from one room to another with a scanner in the doorway. And even then I bet there are misses where the tag goes through the scanner and just doesn't get scanned. I don't think I'd like the system either. Also, I just don't think it would be that useful. I would hope there's a human with an eye on the child that can tell you where he is, and if there's not, then RFID probably isn't going to help much.

     

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  11.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:39pm

    Wow, sounds like someone at the school has read Cory Doctorow's Little Brother, they just seemed to get the wrong message.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh?

    "Two days of caring for a sick doggy and getting no sleep while working my day job and writing as much as possible takes its toll eventually."

    Ha Ha Ha, you have no idea. Wait until you have the two dogs plus kids, it only gets better. I can't remember the last time I slept.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Next

    they're just going to chip'em like they do with stray dogs and prisoners

     

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  14.  
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    Alan Gerow (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:47pm

    I'm against the idea of uniforms in general. Adding an RFID chip to the jersey just adds on to the reasons to hate this plan. Also cements in my head why my wife & I plan on home schooling our children.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:47pm

    If the teachers are letting a computer watch your kids then what are they doing? I pay my kids preschool to pay attention.

    What happens when the kids swap jerseys?

     

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  16.  
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    Jessica, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:48pm

    I live in Contra Costa County...

    but my child isn't quite preschool age yet. I think this is appalling. You are too busy to check to see if my child has eaten? Don't they sit at a table together and eat?

    There is a ratio for childcare facilities in each state and for preschool age (3 - 4) in CA its 12 kids per 1 teacher, although with an aide, you can have 18:2. That is so the children are adequately monitored at all times. So if my child is being adequately monitored, you'll know if they ate.

     

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  17.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:50pm

    Re:

    "What happens when the kids swap jerseys?"

    Due to all the cameras installed in the school, the entire Board of Education goes to jail for child porn....

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re:

    So that's what the teachers are doing when the computers are watching the kids.

     

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  19.  
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    Grey Ferret, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 3:11pm

    Don't need a computer

    You don't need technology to tell you if they've eaten or not. These are preschoolers we're talking about here. Just look for the food stains on their clothes and around their mouth.

    Seriously though, this sounds like someone just trying to find a use for technology where it isn't needed. Then they can brag about having a "high tech tracking system" and charge parents more money.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 3:27pm

    How to increase revenue.

    Create a demand for something and force others to buy it.

    I bet the manufacture of the jersey's have a sharing relationship with the school and that sometime in the future old jersey's will not be allowed for some reason like "the chip gets old and stop functioning correctly so you need to buy new ones".

    Besides the "think of the children" never gets old apparently.

     

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  21.  
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    Michial Thompson, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 3:51pm

    Are you commentors REALLY that STUPID???

    I'm amazed by the number of morons that comment here... First off the idea of the chip is to INCREASE the teachers time to WATCH the kids.

    The chip is being used to TRACK EVENTS that are currently being done by the teacher manually. It is not to WATCH your brat, or track his whereabouts, it is to take free up the time the teacher spends covering their asses for lawsuits from parents that claim their kid didnt eat or their brat didnt get to the bathroom or whatever other bogus complaint.

     

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  22.  
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    Charlie Potatoes (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 4:05pm

    Wait a minute...

    Ok. I misread it too. I thought they could tell if my child had BEEN eaten ... Never mind.

     

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  23.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 4:05pm

    Re: School

    > Also cements in my head why my wife & I plan on home schooling
    > our children.

    Can't really do that in California anymore, either.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 4:21pm

    Re: Are you commentors REALLY that STUPID???

    How do you know that moron?

    Was you there in the meeting where those decisions took place?

    Those guesses are good as any to what is happening and your stupidity in thinking your point of view is the only one is just shows how stupid you really are.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 4:26pm

    I wonder how much time until kids discover that water is the best shield against radio frequencies there is.

    Anybody who gets no signal in their little parabolics when it is raining can attest to that.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 4:54pm

    Since no one else will do it.

    *cues the Contra title theme as Arnold slides into the picture with his speech bubble of "Run for the Choppa" , explosion*

    Why do kids need tracking devices again? It's not like any of them are going to get lost. I mean, I read a story of a 3 year old that walked to a fire station, 2 blocks from her home to get help for her dad all by herself.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 5:39pm

    Re: Since no one else will do it.

    Why didn't she just call 911?

     

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  28.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 7:55pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    worse yet, what happens when one of the boys drops one in a urinal or flushes the jersey down the toilet?

     

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  29.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 7:59pm

    Re: Are you commentors REALLY that STUPID???

    Not really, the whole plan is just so incredibly wasteful and stupid that no one here is quite able to believe that intelligent adults could come up with such a thing.

     

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  30.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 8:00pm

    Re: Wait a minute...

    Don't worry, that's how it read to me at first glance too :)

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 10:35pm

    If they haven't done anything wrong...

    ...then they should have nothing to fear from this.

     

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  32.  
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    Dohn Joe, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 11:20pm

    Sudden Rise in Applications

    This just in at 6:00...the number of pedophile applicants for IT and security jobs in Contra Costa County is on the rise...

     

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  33.  
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    Kent, Aug 28th, 2010 @ 8:57am

    It's due to the relentless cost-cutting in education

    No one in the education business wants to track kids with RFID. We would much rather use human beings to watch over and guide them all day, in the classroom and on the grounds of the school.

    The relentless budget-cutting that has gone on for decades has long past the point of cutting fat. We are cutting meat and bone and this is what it gets you. There is no one to watch the children when they are between classrooms. Teachers are struggling to teach 40 to 50 children at a time, even in the lower grades. Junior high is much more difficult, as this is a time when kids break the rules as a natural part of growing up.

    When you read about how a school district is experimenting with using Roombas to teach social studies, you'll know we've reached a new stage in cost cutting. Thank you for your support for your local schools. You get what you don't pay for.

     

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  34.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 11:19am

    What I really would like to see would be kids switching their Jerseys to confuse everyone... Have a single jersey enter and leave the cafeteria a dozen times during lunch. Swap the Jersey with a kid in a different grade... Toss your RFID chip out the door and watch as everyone wonders where you've gone! The possibilities are endless!

     

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  35.  
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    Dave, Aug 28th, 2010 @ 11:44am

    Big brother

    Suppose it's different from spying on pupils with webcams built into school-issued laptops.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2010 @ 12:47pm

    this is beyond reason. hope the parents in california get this removed immediately~

     

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  37.  
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    Thomas (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 1:04pm

    Re: switching jerseys

    I doubt preschoolers would be that smart, but it would certainly be very funny if they managed to figure it out. Also kids could simply bring a friend's jersey to school in a backpack and then the system would register that the kid was there when in fact he/she was at home playing video games. They could even extend it by cutting out the rfid chips and putting a bunch of them in one jacket then half the class could skip school with no one noticing.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2010 @ 4:17pm

    Set an example

    How about if the teachers and other staff also have to wear the similar RFID chips? If they really believe tracking the kids is good, they should set an example! That way, if a kid has an accident, we know what staff members were near and supposed to be watching the kid.

     

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  39.  
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    Christopher (profile), Aug 29th, 2010 @ 10:33am

    Agreed on being leery of this tracking thing

    If some malefactor hacks into it, they can know where their 'target' for forcible rape or kidnapping is at all times and wait for the ONE MOMENT they are alone and..... WHAM!

    That is why I tell people that these things are a parents dream when ONLY the parent can get into them, but a parents nightmare when anyone can get into them.

     

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  40.  
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    Alan Parekh, Aug 30th, 2010 @ 3:24am

    What is the world coming to. I was thinking when all the cameras were going into schools and daycares things were out of hand but this is ridiculous.

    I love technology but I think a few humans are needed when it comes to looking after our children.

     

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  41.  
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    Valkor, Aug 30th, 2010 @ 6:35am

    Re: It's due to the relentless cost-cutting in education

    Cost cutting in education? I think you're confusing cost cutting with budget allocation. Ever paid any attention to your local teacher's pension plan? Apparently not...

     

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  42.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: School

    Yes, you can.

     

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  43.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Re: It's due to the relentless cost-cutting in education

    We're talking about a preschool, not a junior high or even elementary school. The kids aren't wandering through the halls between social studies and math classes. Kids of that age must be under supervision at all times. So what money does it save to use these RFID tags? Does it change the required student to teacher ratio? Does it alleviate some other expense?

    I'm not saying what you describe isn't a problem, but I don't see how that problem results in this "solution".

     

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  44.  
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    nasch (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re: Agreed on being leery of this tracking thing

    If it's that easy for an unknown adult to get into the preschool and get to an unsupervised child, the RFID tags are just the tip of the iceberg.

     

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  45.  
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    natcho, Aug 30th, 2010 @ 8:54pm

    um...

    parents
    how about not institutional
    warehousing of kids during the
    day?

     

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  46.  
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    gwinf in Columbus, OH, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 8:48am

    Re: Here's a thought ..

    WoW!!! What a novel concept. You should patent that thought!

     

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  47.  
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    grandma, Aug 31st, 2010 @ 8:50am

    Re:

    it won't be perfect, but it prepares you for the next "great gov't control idea" just IMPLANT the thing ---to save us

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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