Should kids wear tracking devices in schools?

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

Elk Mound, Wis. (WEAU) -- Pat Hanchar is a father of two, with one of his kids being a junior at Elk Mound High School. On Monday, he heard about RFID, which is Radio Frequency Identification, for the first time.

It is a system being used by two Texas schools to make sure kids are showing up for class each day.

"I mean what's the next step, surgically implanting something underneath your skin or some kind of barcode to figure out where everyone is at a given time?" Hanchar said.

The idea may seem far-fetched for Western Wisconsin, and for right now probably is. The schools in San Antonio are paid about $30 per student each day, making attendance crucial.

"In Wisconsin we're not paid per day for students, we actually have enrollment that's set in September based on the number of students that are in school on a specific day," said Elk Mound Superintendent Dr. Ron Walsh.

He says while the system could do some good, especially since both schools saw a boost in attendance, he says there could be some rightful outcries about privacy from the public, especially from students.

"I was a little shocked, those necklaces remind you of what they wear in prison," said Dan Bachman, a student at Elk Mound High School.

"It could be good thing in some ways but I think the school is trying to take too much responsibility," said Gabriel Larock, a student at Elk Mound High School.

While most middle and high school parents will not see the system in the short-term, by the time 4-year-old Tiana Canfield is in middle school, the idea may be more of a reality.

"My guess that it will be a natural part of a cell phone," said Paul Canfield, Tiana's father.

Paul and his wife, Amy, like the idea, saying anything to keep kids safe is a good thing.

Amy is a teacher and sees the benefit too, but says there are a lot of hurdles.

"For a school to get this to happen, I don't know, this would probably be a tough thing because I don't know if every parent would want their kid to have one," Amy Canfield added.

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