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To Curb Truancy, Dallas Tries Electronic Monitoring

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the kids-aren't-people dept.

Education 462

The New York Times is reporting that a school district in Texas is trying a new angle in combating truancy. Instead of punishing students with detention they are tagging them with electronic monitoring devices. "But the future of the Dallas program is uncertain. Mr. Pottinger's company, the Center for Criminal Justice Solutions, is seeking $365,000 from the county to expand the program beyond Bryan Adams. But the effort has met with political opposition after a state senator complained that ankle cuffs used in an earlier version were reminiscent of slave chains. Dave Leis, a spokesman for NovaTracker, which makes the system used in Dallas, said electronic monitoring did not have to be punitive. 'You can paint this thing as either Big Brother, or this is a device that connects you to a buddy who wants to keep you safe and help you graduate.'"

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lawl i'm annonymous (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380302)

lawl first

Really... (5, Insightful)

shawb (16347) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380318)

You can paint this thing as either Big Brother, or this is a device that connects you to a buddy who wants to keep you safe and help you graduate.


I wonder which of these two conclusions the students will come to.

Re:Really... (5, Insightful)

Toandeaf (1014715) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380348)

I'm just amazed that anyone can say that and not realize how Big Brother-ish they sound.

Re:Really... (5, Funny)

Woundweavr (37873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380442)

a buddy who wants to keep you safe and help you graduate.

You know, like an older sibling.

Or like an actual PARENT (4, Insightful)

StevenMaurer (115071) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380662)

...which is what these kids actually need.

If parents would actually PARENT, maybe we wouldn't need so much of a "Nanny" state. But until that happens, comparisons to 1984esque totalitarianism is absurd.

Re:Or like an actual PARENT (1)

Xenaero (1223656) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380760)

That's like saying 'if politicians would actually tell the truth.'

But in all honesty, you're absolutely correct. That's a pretty big 'if', and we can't expect it to change anytime soon, if ever. Since parents can't instill responsibility into their children, on whose shoulders does that task lie?

Re:Or like an actual PARENT (5, Interesting)

MythoBeast (54294) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380794)

Not the least bit absurd. Every person has the right to pursue their own happiness. If someone wants to be a complete screw-up, then it is a requirement of a free society that we let them be a screw-up.

Children are a somewhat different case because, in theory, they don't have all of the information that they need to make effective decisions about their future. Unfortunately, physical enforcement of what you think they should be doing isn't going to improve them, it's just going to let them know that they need to be trickier if they're going to avoid an oppressive state.

For children you have three paths. The first is to help them realize that cooperating with those around them and being productive is the most effective long-term strategy for pursuing their happiness. The second is to convince them that the entire world is a bunch of screw-ups that are only vaguely kept in order through threat of violence. The third is to let them screw up and take their lumps. Of the three, the second is actually the one most likely to result in violent, oppressive, and harmful adults.

Re:Or like an actual PARENT (1)

Vexor (947598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380806)

Selling Point: It also injects your kid with his ADHD meds and tranquilizers for those moments when you just need 5 minutes of silence! Now available in hot pink.

Re:Really... (1)

William Ager (1157031) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380986)

While your post is certainly funny, it does illustrate that the spokesman probably hasn't read 1984, as "a buddy who wants to keep you safe" is very similar to how the Party portrayed Big Brother.

Re:Really... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380548)

<tongue location="in cheeck" />Yeah, but if you have nothing to hide, then you won't mind being monitored.

Re:Really... (2, Funny)

rbochan (827946) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380642)

Big Buddy!

Re:Really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380894)

"My buddy, my buddy,
Where ever I go, he goes!

My buddy, my buddy,
I'll teach him everything that I know,

My buddy, my buddy,
My buddy and me!"

Re:Really... (2, Funny)

jockeys (753885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380380)

well, if you are house arrest and wearing an ankle tag you have 2 choices, as well:

1. Big Brother
2. a buddy who wants to keep me safe and help me make parole


Is there really any doubt in anyone's mind what this is?

Re:Really... (5, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380930)

RTFA. This actually is analogous to house-arrest, and would only be used under similar circumstances.

The students in the program were given the option of either submitting to GPS monitoring, or being placed in Juvenile Detention.

Whether or not you agree with the concept of house arrest, this seems like a logical extension of that concept to troubled youths.

Personally, I think this seems to have a much greater possibility of actually working than sticking all of the troubled students together in a prison-like environment.

At the very least, it's better than any of the other alternatives on the table.

Re:Really... (0, Redundant)

Bovius (1243040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380394)

You can paint this thing as a device that connects you to a buddy who wants to keep you safe and help you graduate, or as a device that connects you to a Buddy who wants to keep you safe and help you obey the rules.

Re:Really... (0, Offtopic)

Crazy Man on Fire (153457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380474)

Are you wearing your buddy anklet today?

Re:Really... (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380518)

As scary as programs like this are (and they are scary) we need to start thinking about when, not if, these kinds of things happen. At least I can see a giant transmitter strapped to my ankle. In 10 years it will be possible to pick up a box of microscopic RFID tags for relatively little cost. In 20 years it will probably be possible to create microscopic GPS systems that radio back their location.

We know someone, somewhere will develope and sell this or similar technology and we need to know how we are going to answer back. Lobby congress to allow jaming technology? Doubtful that will happen. Create scanners so we can atleast know when we are being tracked? More likely, but only a partial solution.

Hopefully someone smarter than me can think of a solution to what I think is an inevitable problem.

Re:Really... (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380702)

At least I can see a giant transmitter strapped to my ankle.

You strap your phone to your ankle?

-mcgrew

OT but why all of a sudden am I getting a "slow down cowboy" after four minutes? That never happened when I was logged in before.

Re:Really... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380922)

I don't know, but it started happening to me. Seems you now need to wait five minutes between postings. Haven't heard an explaination as to why..

Re:Really... (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380842)

If microscopic rfid tags will be popular, there will be also firewalls, which can jam and/or warn you about them. Heck, I would make it for myself (with small processors and kits like arduino, it's already easier than ever).

Re:Really... (4, Informative)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380904)

Lobby congress to allow jaming technology? Doubtful that will happen.

Fortunately, Congress doesn't get to legislate Maxwell's equations, and homebrew GPS jammers [notserver.com] are within the reach of hardhackers.

I'm sure outlawing GPS jammers will prove as effective as outlawing guns and heroin has.

Re:Really... (1)

Un quebecois (621765) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380964)

Easy ... Just put a wet towel around your head. Look strange, but it work. (At least for Arnold)

Re:Really... (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380970)

Subtract 10 years from each of your estimations. Subcutanous RFID chips are available now [zdnet.co.uk] .

The solution is to elect leaders who understand why privacy is important and who aren't being paid by these companies to make their "solutions" legally mandatory.

Bryan Adams High School? (4, Funny)

GogglesPisano (199483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380648)

While Dave Leis' touching characterization of the device as "a buddy who wants to keep you safe and help you graduate" clearly comes straight from the heart, many students at the high school have expressed concerns this rule "cuts like a knife".

A spokesman for the school administration added that "We can't stop this thing we've started.".

I live in Dallas (2, Interesting)

Quattro Vezina (714892) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380322)

I was born in Dallas, I was raised in Dallas, I went to college in the Dallas area, and I still live in Dallas.

I have _never_ been more ashamed of this city than I am now.

Re:I live in Dallas (3, Informative)

kybred (795293) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380388)

I have _never_ been more ashamed of this city than I am now.

I live in the Dallas area, although I wasn't born or raised here. I don't think this is a reason to be ashamed of Dallas, just the Dallas ISD. The crap that the DISD board and administration pulls never ceases to amaze me.

Re:I live in Dallas (1)

Quattro Vezina (714892) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380716)

Yeah, DISD is truly shit-tastic.

Luckily, I grew up in the part of North Dallas that was serviced by Richardson ISD, so I never had to deal with DISD, but I've heard horror stories. Granted, RISD has its share of suck (or at least some schools did--they had quite a bit of leeway with their policies), but it was nowhere nearly as bad as what I've heard about DISD.

Re:I live in Dallas (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380500)

Another non-smoking redneck town. Nothing worth seeing outside of Deep Ellum.

I guess if more people wore these tags, perhaps at least we would know who shot JR?

Re:I live in Dallas (2, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380530)

heh.
you haven't been to deep ellum recently, have you?

Re:I live in Dallas (0, Redundant)

swb311 (1165753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380578)

Deep Ellum is the only worth while part of Dallas!

Re:I live in Dallas (2, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380724)

As a native Texan, born in the Dallas area, let me tell you, Deep Ellum went to shit about 5 years ago. The music scene has died immensely with no-smoking indoors, crime rates have gone up (my mother recently had her Explorer broken into while she was working at Bar of Soap) and the people are just idiots.

Re:I live in Dallas (1)

swb311 (1165753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380912)

Yeah, the non-smoking atmospheres usually kill the music scene. I lived and worked in the Deep Ellum area off and on 2000-2001 and it was really died since then.

Re:I live in Dallas (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380778)

Deep Ellum? Sounds like a really bad sequel to Debbie Does Dallas.

Re:I live in Dallas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380634)

There is nothing redneck about Dallas. Its just a bunch of cookie-cutter suburban neighborhoods. Hardly redneck.

Re:I live in Dallas (1, Flamebait)

Quattro Vezina (714892) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380666)

Another non-smoking redneck town. Nothing worth seeing outside of Deep Ellum.
I have to agree. And even Deep Ellum may be going away; the city plans to rennovate it and turn it into the eastern version of the West End (the East End?). Yuck.

Dallas has been on one steady decline for years. All the places I remember going to as a kid are gone. All development is in Plano and Frisco now, and none of it is anywhere near as cool as what I grew up with in Dallas. Remember Olla Padrida? Good luck seeing anything like that in Nu Dallas/Greater Frisco anymore.

And you know what I also miss? Smoking areas.

Damn...I'm only in my 20s, but I already sound like a bitter old man.

Re:I live in Dallas (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380516)

I have _never_ been more ashamed of this city than I am now.
Er, I believe you misspelled the word "city". It's actually spelled "Nation".

Re:I live in Dallas (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380546)

They have to start somewhere. If you look at the history of the US government over the past 100 years, this is exactly what you will see: small, seemingly harmless steps towards bigger and more powerful government that go unnoticed by the masses. Add up those 100 years of government expansion and today you've got a government that absolutely dwarfs the US government of only 100 years ago, both in revenue and power over the people.

Totalitarianism comes one small step at a time, never in one giant sweep.

Re:I live in Dallas (0, Troll)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380680)

I guess you think it is better that the kids be allowed to skip school, not get an education, and end up working mcjobs or worse as gang-bangers, thieves, drug dealers, or other criminals. Or, do you think they will make anything else of themselves after they "snooze until 2 p.m. before strolling into school" and falling falling so far behind they fail most of their classes.

Maybe you this:

Nearly one-third of American students drop out of school, and Dallas has the seventh-worst graduation rate among large school districts, according to a study released in April by Americaâ(TM)s Promise Alliance, founded by Colin L. Powell, the former secretary of state.


Maybe you missed the part where Pacheco could have been sent to juvenile detention and how his mother is glad he has to do this.

Hey, I know, maybe the truth is that you are worried that you won't have anyone to wait on you at McDonald's, mow your lawn, and do the rest of the shit jobs you don't want to do.

Or, maybe it is that you just can't wait to pay higher taxes to support the ignorant.

Yes, you are ashamed of your city because you believe it is better to let ignorant, selfish, lazy children grow up to be ignorant, selfish, lazy adults who are a burden to the rest of society.

You are a dumb-ass.

Re:I live in Dallas (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380976)

and of course the only options are "tag all the students and track their every move" or "let them run wild in the streets robbing convenience stores and shooting people".

You are a dumb-ass also.

Re:I live in Dallas (1)

otopico (32364) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381128)

And I guess its more important to you that we throw out that pesky Constitution with all its worthless protections?

This isn't a case where there are only 2 choices. There is a myriad of other options, but the choice that these people seem to want is the one that dumps all personal responsibility while throwing away all of the civil rights our people have fought and died for.

I hate to break it to you, but it is a person's right to grow up and be worthless. Don't like that? Then raise your kids to not be screw ups.

Anyone that thinks it's good idea to strip away civil liberties to somehow 'help' the children is an enemy of all our freedoms.

It's easy to justify the destruction of our Constitution, what takes strength and courage is to stand up and defend all of our people's rights.

We already pay taxes to support the ignorant. Last time I heard, the President is paid with money collected by taxes.

Re:I live in Dallas (1)

Fishbulb (32296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380858)

Not even when Ross Perot wanted to do house-by-house drug sweeping in poor neighborhoods? http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,975891-5,00.html [time.com]

Re:I live in Dallas (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380954)

Ross Perot, who didn't manage to attain political office, advocating house-to-house seaches was bad, but then again, he wasn't elected. President Bill Clinton was a heck of a lot more scary advocating the same thing.

. When personal freedom's being abused, you have to move to limit it. That's what we did in the announcement I made last weekend on the public housing projects, about how we're going to have weapon sweeps and more things like that to try to make people safer in their communities.

Not big brother? (4, Insightful)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380340)

That depends. If only students with a history of truancy are tagged, then I don't have a problem with this. However, as with all things handled by the government, they will eventually expand it to automatically tag all students, regardless of their attendance record.

Re:Not big brother? (5, Insightful)

wouter (103085) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380418)

It is Big Brother, but according to the article it is only limited to students who ended up at Truancy court. To choose between having an option to continue school life under supervision, or spend your days in juvenile detention, I might just take the first one...

Re:Not big brother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380450)

If I were a father, you could be sure I would not allow them to use it on my kids. You could also be sure that I would see to it that truency were not a problem in the first place.

Re:Not big brother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380488)

'You can paint this thing as either Big Brother, or this is a device that connects you to a buddy who wants to keep you safe and help you graduate.'

"Big Brother" was supposed to be a warm, patronizing euphemism. "Buddy who keeps us safe and helps us graduate" actually sounds less warm and more patronizing. This is what happens when people with no sense of irony are allowed to speak on behalf of people with no sense.

Re:Not big brother? (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380504)

If the student is a truant then WHO CARES.

Give him a shovel and have him work for a living.

Forcing an extended artifical childhood on people is highly unnatural and
only leads to an obvious conflict between authority and instinct. If people
don't want to go to school then don't force them. Schools should be places
were those interested can get ahead, not some sort of prison. Treating schools
as prisons and daycare just undermines their alleged goal.

If you can't keep the truant interested than the school has failed to be relevant.

Re:Not big brother? (5, Insightful)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380622)

If the student is a truant then WHO CARES.

Give him a shovel and have him work for a living.

Forcing an extended artificial childhood on people is highly unnatural and
only leads to an obvious conflict between authority and instinct. If people
don't want to go to school then don't force them. Schools should be places
were those interested can get ahead, not some sort of prison. Treating schools
as prisons and daycare just undermines their alleged goal.

If you can't keep the truant interested than the school has failed to be relevant.
Someone mod the OP up... I couldn't agree with you more.

If the truant students would stay out of class, my kids could get a decent education. But no, they force these disinterested, undisciplined kids in to an already over crowded class room - and nobody learns anything. The teacher is there just to make sure everyone stays alive.

If they really want to scare these kids back into the class room - make them get a job from 8a-3p during school. After a few weeks of flipping burgers or shoveling cow shit - these kids might take school a little more seriously. And in the mean time they'll be paying taxes on their wages.

Profit!

Re:Not big brother? (2, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380762)

If the fucker is truant, *I CARE* because I don't want some teenaged punk wandering the streets raising shit or breaking into my shit while I'm away at work and everyone else is at school.

Re:Not big brother? (3, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380960)

Guess what he is going to do once he drops out.

Re:Not big brother? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381024)

Right, because they can't "raise shit or break into shit" while people are at home. It might also suprise you that there ARE people at home in your neighborhood at any given time. Not to mention police patrols. Or do you think your neigherhood becomes a ghost town at 7AM, complete with tumbleweed?

Re:Not big brother? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381044)

In short, you want him to get off your lawn?

Electronic restraints seem a bit extreme for that, it seems.

Re:Not big brother? (2, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381088)

So if the person is breaking into stuff, arrest them. If they're not, who cares? You can't preemptively assume behaviors in people and punish them for these behaviors.

Re:Not big brother? (4, Interesting)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380956)

Schools should be places where those interested can get ahead, not some sort of prison.
What's amusing about that statement is that those who decide they're not interested in the former are far more likely to end up in the latter.

Must parents agree? (5, Insightful)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380510)

If only students with a history of truancy are tagged, then I don't have a problem with this.

I was going to say that I have a problem with it no matter what, but on second thought, I think the question should go to the parents. Minors have limited rights, and if the parents want to monitor them using tools the state provides, in order to keep them in school, maybe that's OK. (Personally, if it were my kid, I would consider this a very desperate measure - it certainly doesn't foster mutual trust and respect.)

On the other hand, if this is forced on students without parents' consent, then it's a big problem.

Consider this: parents have a right to know where their kid is at all times; the school should only be concerned about that during school hours. When is the tracking turned off?

Re:Not big brother? (2, Insightful)

Chris Acheson (263308) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380560)

Why is it okay to treat anyone like this, truant or not? Does the school own these kids? Do they not have the same rights as the rest of us?

Re:Not big brother? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380984)

They don't have the same rights. Among many other things, they are disenfranchised.

Re:Not big brother? (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380568)

Isn't the question more if the student is learning something or not? If a student is absent for most of the lessons and scores full at all tests - is there a problem?

Maybe it's better to set up a check that if a student fails three tests in a row and has been absent for most of the time that student isn't fit to be present anyway and can choice between go dumpster diving or attend and learn something.

But of course - it's sure a lot funnier to gang up listening to hip-hop (or whatever it's called today, sounds the same anyway) and smoke pot. But it's not productive. At most these deserves a DA [darwinawards.com] .

Re:Not big brother? (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380590)

That depends. If only students with a history of truancy are tagged, then I don't have a problem with this. However, as with all things handled by the government, they will eventually expand it to automatically tag all students, regardless of their attendance record.
Right. And only terrorists end up at Gitmo.

Jokes come true (5, Insightful)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380350)

I always joked that highschool was like prison. Nothing to do (with our poor education budget) but to wait to get out after you've served your 4 years. Now its really going to be true, thats really very sad.

In Soviet Russia... (0)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381060)

"We have met the enemy, and he is us." -Pogo

needs facism tag (1)

Neotrantor (597070) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380364)

please, tag it up BRAH

The alternative is much worse (5, Insightful)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380366)

Keep in mind a couple of things:

* The kids in the program were on the verge of being sent to the Texas Youth Commission, aka Juvenile Detention.

* Once you're in the TYC, you're likely to be beaten, raped, and held indefinitely [washingtonpost.com] .

When the choice is between being treated *like* a criminal, versus learning to *be* a criminal in Texas highly successful Criminal Conversion System, I think it's pretty obvious why any judge would choose to give the kid an ankle shackle instead of condemning him to (eventual) death.

Of course, the "choice" is mind-numbingly stupid. Now that the story of the TYC abuses has finally broken [capitolannex.com] , maybe the next legislature will do something about the broken system that turns minor offenders into hardened criminals. Not likely, of course, because nobody ever got voted out of office for putting *too many* men, women, or children in jail.

Re:The alternative is much worse (2, Insightful)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380570)

Actually these cuffs make perfect sense.

While I support education in all it's forms, I fail to see how forcing someone by law to be somewhere involuntarily for 6 hours / day 5 days / week 39 weeks / year for about 12 years can not be considered a form of imprisonment.

These cuffs sound like a natural progression of forced education. And of course only the children who resist will be subject to them. There's no need to impose more force on someone who choses to cooperate with their incarceration voluntarily.

Re:The alternative is much worse (1)

mckinnsb (984522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380916)

Noted, and of course, the choice as presented is obvious; its better to be treated like a criminal then to be sent to the TYC.

However: keep this in mind. The people driving this program have commercial interests- at least, thats what I'm getting from the phrase "Asked for 365,000 thousand dollars to expand the program". I'm an adult and am well aware that many people have commercial interests and the proceeding statement may be overly obvious, but, companies tend to have this desire to expand and make more money. I'm wary of this system - as good as an alternative as it may be to an already broken system which jails people who don't go to school and trains them to become prisoners - because it has the potential to spread well beyond its "original advertised intent" because of the money- and hungry investors- involved. This company doesn't seem like its just providing a technology, it also seems like its providing a system, and who is to say that these "overwhelmed" case workers won't simply turn over every borderline case to this system? Who is to say that this program won't be expanded to any child marked as "remotely" problematic, if it makes someone money? Who is to say that these case workers themselves won't be bribed or given incentives, based on how many kids they tag?

As an aside, we currently have too many privately run companies that have nearly direct control of the execution of our law as it is (see private military contractors, privately held state prisons, a privately held federal reserve bank). When we hand over control of our government to private companies and permit them to interpret the laws we create in our legislature, we set ourselves up for many, many problems. Our laws run the risk of being interpreted for the profit of a private individual, beyond even what we are used to already in our legislature (aka "Pork Barrel Projects" or "court favoritism" , etc). At least, with the corruption we are used to, it happens in a public building.

Doublespeak? (3, Insightful)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380370)

Sounds like so much doublespeak [wikipedia.org] to me.
What's next? Tattoos on the backs of the necks of the little snowflakes? Where are these kids parents, why aren't they getting involved and paying attention to what their kids are doing?

Re:Doublespeak? (2, Informative)

story645 (1278106) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380958)

Where are these kids parents, why aren't they getting involved and paying attention to what their kids are doing?
Working four jobs, getting ready for the 5th move in a year, drunk/high in some alley, in a different state or country, dead, in prison, [insert something here].
Lots of these kids have 'rents who just can't pay attention to what their kids are doing, often 'cause their own lives are too messed up to even think about sorting out their kids. Find a study on truant kids-the usual risk factors boil down to socio-economics, which usual doesn't help with parenting.
Other parents just don't care if their kids are missing school-for whatever reason-according to the studies. Dept. of Ed table [ed.gov]

Buddy? (1)

Chris Acheson (263308) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380378)

Yeah, I'm gonna go with "Big Brother" on this one...

But I guess Big Brother is our buddy, right?

Re:Buddy? (4, Informative)

emmafreester (1287644) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380600)

"To do anything that suggested a taste for solitude, even to go for a walk by yourself, was always slightly dangerous. There was a word for it in Newspeak: ownlife..." --1984 by George Orwell

Sounds about right (2, Interesting)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380384)

'You can paint this thing as either Big Brother, or this is a device that connects you to a buddy who wants to keep you safe and help you graduate.'"

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Benjamin Franklin

Freedom includes the right to screw up. Trying to protect people from themselves is the worst kind of tyranny. I only wish more people would realize this.

Re:Sounds about right (3, Insightful)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380952)

Your right to screw up ends at my right to not have to subsidize your screw ups.

What's next (1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380396)

So what will be next, the implanted chip into our children? To keep them safe? Out of harms way?

Safe from whom?

Re:What's next (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380850)

No chip needed. Just tattoo a mark on their right hand, or their forehead.

I hope... (1, Offtopic)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380406)

The map on the article is just a doctored up map and not an actual map showing actual locations of children. With all the nut jobs running around kidnapping kids of all ages, this seems like the dumbest thing for them to post to the world.

Re:I hope... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380520)

What are you talking about? There are very few nut jobs running around kidnapping children of any age.

Quick, name the last abduction in your area that was not done by a parent or other family member. No looking it up, you have to remember it.

Re:I hope... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381008)

Quick, name the last abduction in your area that was not done by a parent or other family member. No looking it up, you have to remember it.

I can't, but when you can tell me that everyone in the world is 100% normal and they don't do bad things then I'll stop worrying. Till then I don't particularly feel comfortable showing the kind of information that is on that map to the general public.

The other thing is, who cares if it's a parent or family member? If they're nuts and need to be kept away from the child for whatever reason this map won't help that.

I guess I'm over reacting. Oh well.

Re:I hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380726)

Must be real. I just got a date with number 2 on Milmar Drive. Thanks for the heads up!

Re:I hope... (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381084)

You're joking, right? Pick any three random houses, and at least one of them will probably have a young(er) kid in it. Most kidnappings aren't by random strangers, and aren't nearly as common in either case as you imply.

Time to start weening yourself off of the sensationalist news a bit.

barf for slave chains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380410)

Wow.... barf all over. Go ahead and make all the kids that don't want to goto school go to school with the kids that do. Only 30-35% of the population completes college. We need a damn good program to get these kids off the streets and into alternative education system. I want more thenCheap Tax Payer funded Day-Care from 7-3pm everyday!

Sucks to be Bryan Adams (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380412)

Seriously, that principal just has it out for him.

Just waiting for the watches... (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380426)

What idiot came up with that idea? If you really wanted to implement it, then you'd try to combine the student ID into a watch or cell phone and assign them to students. I'd say some type of Cell Phone ID card would allow you to pack the most instruments in small form factor for your "students."

Let's see, you could actually bill it as a PDA/ipod type of thing for the students productivity and give them limited student to student/faculty/parent communications. You get GPS tracking for everyone that takes you up on the offer and if you offer to backup all their PDA/ipod data you could have all that as well. You could have cameras/video/audio recorders built in and spy on their activities that way as well.

Big Brother (3, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380428)

If I had a big brother, I'm sure that he, too, would want to "keep [me] safe and help [me] graduate."

However, I don't, and I did quite fine all by my self. The government can't even keep track of laptops, how are they supposed to keep track of kids?

It's total bull, just like airport security, only more intrusive. Why do all these "tracking" programs get tested on school kids? Just to get them used to the idea so by the time they're adults, they don't know any better...

It's shameful.

Funny (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380438)

"a buddy who wants to keep you safe" - Ahahahahahahahahah!!!

Free electronics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380448)

So they're proposing giving free electronics to any student willing to miss a bit of school. Sounds like a great deal for the students, as long as these devices are easy enough to program.

Hard to believe (1)

monkaru (927718) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380452)

Unless Texas has a truancy law that is much different than the rest of the world truancy is a misdemenour. Tagging children for commiting a misdemenour. Now that's just awful.

Prison? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380466)

I've got a great idea! Why not just put everyone on parole until they turn 18? (For public officials reading this in Dallas, this was not meant to be taken seriously)

You can paint this thing as Big Brother, or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380468)

I wonder if Dave Leis ever actually read 1984. After all, that was the original intention of Big Brother in the book. "Big Brother is your friend; you can trust Big Brother to protect you from the ills of Eurasia and Emmanuel Goldstein..."

So I guess according to his quote, we can either view this as Big Brother or view it as Big Brother?

I Want A Refund (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380498)

I wish I'd realized it when I was still in school -- the shitbuckets trying to tell me education's not a right, but a privilege? WRONG. It's a service I'm paying for. And all that talking about how they aren't a bunch of shitbuckets is just big words if you don't back it with a refund when you don't measure up.

I want my money back.

Search and Replace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380524)

Ah come on, Big Brother is your buddy, little guy, and only wants to keep you safe and help you graduate. ... Geez, So painting things the other way, consist of replacing the word "Big Brother" with the more friendly and politically correct word "Buddy" Gotcha!

A minute in the Texas' principal's office... (1)

imyy4u2 (1275398) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380628)

"Why it looks like Joey's tag is right on top of Maria's...and it is moving up and down rapidly. That would mean Joey is on top of Maria and...OH GOD!!!"

"Big Brother"'s original purpose... (3, Insightful)

LineGrunt (133002) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380688)

You can paint this thing as either Big Brother, or this is a device that connects you to a buddy who wants to keep you safe and help you graduate.
The term "Big Brother" is so entrenched that people are completely missing the irony of this statement. "Big Brother" probably originated as that "buddy who wants to keep you safe" and then became the villain icon of 1984.

Re:"Big Brother"'s original purpose... (2, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380910)

That's what happens when cautionary tales become cultural cliches... I guess people have just cried wolf [wikipedia.org] too many times...

Marketing is EVIL (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380714)


I see, it's all a matter of Marketing.

Those aren't "shackles", they're "Safety Restraints" designed to make sure you don't injure yourself while trying to escape!

This isn't "hard labor", it's "Exercise Time"!

That isn't "gruel", it's "Nutrient Density Compound"!

That ankle bracelet, it's not "Big Brother", it's "Big Brothers/Big Sisters" (minus the Big Sister)!

The Irony... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380784)

"You can paint this thing as either Big Brother, or this is a device that connects you to a buddy who wants to keep you safe"

The irony in this statement is truly a sad thing to see. Clearly staying in school didn't do much for the author's education

Re:The Irony... (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381046)

The irony in this statement is truly a sad thing to see. Clearly staying in school didn't do much for the author's education


He probably intended the irony, knowing both his employers and the intended audience would miss it.

I have no problem with it... (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380814)

..as long as everyone involved, including teachers, police/guards, politicians, parents, lobbyists/manufacturers, students and probably the rest of the population are tagged and everyone has equal access to the monitoring system.

The problem is always that those with money/power/influence have more rights than those without and that imbalance inevitably leads to a bad place. Children are very lacking in all those areas which has lead to lots of legislation that restricts what children can do.

On a similar subject. I very much dislike how imprisoned criminals in some countries can lose their voting rights. "No taxation without representation" is about far more than taxation in my opinion. Locking someone up may be needed as punishment to uphold law and safeguard the population as a whole, but taking away their right to representation is to go down a dark path.

Selective law enforcement is another one interesting issue. Not to mention the court systems that favor those with money. Every one is about someone more powerful exercising control over those less powerful.

Dallas (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380886)

In my high school we used to skip school, walk downtown, and drink beer... With our English teacher...

No joke, and no lie, any AMHS/BTW alums from the 80s care to back me up here?

I think it would be more effective if.... (1, Flamebait)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380942)

...they did it like the movie Wedlock. No walls and no guards just a big circle painted around the facility that was 300m in diameter. When they put you in the prison they put a colar on you with 1/4lb of plastic explosives in it. If you got more than 300m away from the other person you were "wedlocked" to (you never knew who that person was) then both your and their colar blew up.

Maybe then the little bastards might be motivated to stay in school.

Seriously though I think drop outs should be just drafted into a new branch of the Peace Corps and sent off to 3rd world countries to work in work groups creating infrastructure for poor people, then they might come to appreciate how good they have it back home and maybe do a little growing up while they are gone.

And if they still refuse to straighten out I say leave them overseas permanently, life is short and the world has an over abundance of assholes. We need to quit wasting so much time on those that don't want to participate

Parents! (1)

CaptScarlet22 (585291) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381114)

This isn't the solution....

Parents, please get involved with your children lives!!

There isn't a day that I'm not in my 14 year old daughters life or my other 2 year old daughter life.

I'm constantly on my children about school, studying, and what to expect in life. And the effect of this?? My 14 year old is on the honor role and already has a plan to become an anthropologist. Will she make it? Who knows....I don't care....But at least she has a goal going forward.

enforcement (1)

gobbligook (465653) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381118)

I think I missed the point of the article, one question keeps coming up in my mind: what stops the kid from being truant here? just because their location is monitored, doesn't mean they have to go to school. If you want to stop the kid from being truant, the parents/guardians have to get involved. Drive the kid to school in the morning, teach them the value of an education, show them the importance of being a success in life, most of all try and give the kid a better start than you had. If you raise them like you give a damn, they will care about an education.
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