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Kids Who Skip School Get Tracked By GPS

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the tag-them-and-release-them-back-into-the-wild dept.

Education 515

suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from the Orange County Register: "Frustrated by students habitually skipping class, police and the Anaheim Union High School District are turning to GPS tracking to ensure they come to class. The six-week pilot program is the first in California to test GPS. Seventh- and eighth-graders with four unexcused absences or more this school year are assigned to carry a handheld GPS device, about the size of a cell phone. Five times a day, they are required to enter a code that tracks their locations – as they leave for school, when they arrive at school, at lunchtime, when they leave school and at 8 p.m."

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515 comments

Great plan there (5, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242708)

Because kids who regularly skip school can be relied upon to willingly cooperate in keeping and activating their own personal tracking device.

Re:Great plan there (4, Insightful)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242742)

This was my first thought as well.

1. make friends with truants.
2. collect their GPS devices.
3. enter codes when called to do so.
4. profit.

Re:Great plan there (5, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242884)

"Excuse me sir, but all the GPS hoodlums are reporting from the same location, every day!"

"Dear god, they've formed a GANG!"

Re:Great plan there (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242748)

Why do they have to do it at 8:00pm? That seems like a really dumb time; its none of the school's business where the student is at 8:00pm.

Four unexcused abscences seems a bit of a low bar; I know my daughter has they many just due to custody hearings this past fall when her mom tried to get her back.

Re:Great plan there (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242846)

4 UNexcused are quite different than your daughter's excused absences.

Re:Great plan there (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35243036)

As I recall from high school, what was excused and what should be excused were two completely different things. There was a very short list of things that would qualify you as excused. Various things I saw count as unexcused included vomiting at school and being sent out by the school nurse and genuine medical emergency of a parent. Your own illness is always unexcused unless it is severe enough to go to a doctor, and I heard it gets tough to get excuses for a parent's medical emergency.

Overall, the high school I recall was more burdened with bureaucracy than any corporation I've worked at since.

Re:Great plan there (2)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242986)

Why do they have to do it at 8:00pm?

To make sure they are at home, awake, and studying at that time; instead of at a friends house drinking, OR sleeping when the school has dictated they should be finishing their homework?

Re:Great plan there (0, Troll)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243040)

That's stupid. 8pm is when high schoolers should be at a friend's house getting a blow job, lest they wind up like sexually defunct college kids that had their entire sexual maturation period suppressed until it was over, fixating them into a cycle of sexual discomfort.

You all know that guy. You knew him in college. You felt sorry for him 'cause he never got laid. Then you got him a girl and he damn near had a heart attack. Today he's an astrophysicist making $$$bazillions, but he still can't get comfortable in bed.

You all know the girls too. They're the "all sex is rape" femenists and the complete dorm sluts that finally lost their virginity their first day freshman year and fucked damn near everyone. They fall one way or the other eh?

Re:Great plan there (2)

tibit (1762298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243030)

I generally find the low unexcused absence threshold in the U.S. to be overboard, by an order of magnitude at least, or maybe two. When I was in 11th grade of high school in Poland, I had 51% attendance rate. You'd get to repeat the grade if it dropped to 50% or less. That was fair, IMHO. I don't think I turned out all that bad, nor do I think I missed out on much. U.S. schools seem to be designed like prisons with "voluntary" attendance.

Never mind that the U.S. school system on one hand tries to promote attendance, on another -- in spite of itself -- also promotes expulsion and suspension as disciplinary aids. Every time I hear that, it's a WTF?! moment to me. If a student messes up, make them work more, not less!

What's especially puzzling is that if, say, your parents decide not to let you go to school, they may lose custody of you. OTOH, when the school district decides they don't want you anymore, it's fine and dandy. Our former school district's superintendent saw no problem with that, citing that state law forces their hand, too. Then I asked her: what did she personally do to influence a change in state law, to get rid of expulsion/suspension as disciplinary measures, and to promote/reinforce attendance instead? She seemed puzzled that I'd expect her to do something about changing a law that she pretended to disagree with (the radio show she participated in was about promoting attendance). It was like Hypocrisy 101.

Re:Great plan there (1)

sonnejw0 (1114901) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242970)

I missed 40 days of school in 8th grade (a personal high point), and I didn't get much better about it during highschool. Now I'm working on a Ph.D. in Neurobiology at a translation research and teaching hospital. I credit my not-being-at-my-public-school for the level of success I've achieved.

As a parent, it's my business where my kid is. I'll smash that damn device and hand it back to the truant officer on my kid's behalf. Schools have become the Juvenile Executive branch of the government, and it's not their responsibility. "We'll educate you with the information we want you to know, whether you like it or not!"

8PM? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242716)

Are you fucking kidding me? Where these kids are after school hours is no business of the school, whatsoever. How about taking all the money they pissed away on this failure-to-be, and invest it in the teachers? Pay a little extra and hire people who don't suck at their jobs and maybe, just maybe, attendance won't be such an issue.

God damn I can't wait until California falls into the ocean.

Re:8PM? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242782)

The sort of kids who are skipping school regularly enough that they need to be part of this kind of tracking program are the same sort of kids who are likely to stay out until all hours of the night cruising with their mates (or their gang) and potentially causing trouble.

By requiring an 8pm check-in it ensures the kids are actually at home and not out causing problems.

Re:8PM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242834)

I prefer they send those little shits to a camp where they can work, study, maybe eat, sleep, shit, and back doing it again the next morning.

Let'em know what prison is like because that's where they're headed.

Re:8PM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242862)

That still doesn't make it the school's business.

Besides which, if you're out to cause trouble, just starting after your 8pm check-in doesn't seem like much of an impediment.

Re:8PM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242876)

I don't think thats the school's responsibility though. Thats the parent's responsibility to make sure the kid isn't out past 8pm, or where they are. I feel like that 8pm status check should be a voluntary one, based on the parent's request. Otherwise, its indeed out of bounds for the schools to require this.

Re:8PM? (2)

AVee (557523) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242998)

By requiring an 8pm check-in it ensures the kids are actually at home and not out causing problems.

Wouldn't that be the parents responsibility?
A better system would probably be to call their parents every evening and ask where their kids are.

Re:8PM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35243100)

Yes because kids who ditch school MUST be gangbanging and cruising around all night causing trouble...

Back when I was in high school (93-94), I used to ditch all of the time because I wasn't learning anything and it was a waste of my time. Where was I? Sitting in front of my PC writing software and operating a BBS. After I was expelled from the high school, I was excepted into another school the following year on an accelerated curriculum, skipping one entire grade and graduating within a matter of months. My father, who was initially furious with me following my expulsion, later admitted that he had been wrong about my actions and was proud that I had finished school so early and had already gotten a real job (as a software developer) at the age of 16. One of my good friends did the exact same thing and had a similar reaction from his family when he ended up with a job making more money than his mother before he was 18.

Our cases might not be common, but it is a definite possibility for any kids choosing to "play hooky". It's wrong to automatically label those kids as no good miscreants before you even know the reasons why they aren't going to school.

Re:8PM? (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242810)

California is also known for having a budget excess to pay for this.

Re:8PM? (1)

merlock18 (1533631) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242980)

"Taxes arent paying for this, the school is," cries someone somewhere.
On a lighter note, Im pretty sure this is an invasion of privacy. Even though an individual is not a full citizen responsible for their actions until they are 18, I doubt there could be any repurcussions from a publicly funded institution for not checking in at 8 p.m. Im no lawyer though.

Re:8PM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242890)

This is California...

Funny thing is that CA used to have a public education system that was an envy of the whole US.

Now they have no interest in the basics of keeping decent teachers, but want to tell kids that they are essentially prisoners.

No wonder the kids want to skip school. It is no wonder why kids stick in school until 16, then drop their ass out and go for a GED or high school equivalence. The only thing taught in CA schools is how to be a good little consumer.

Re:8PM? (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243082)

I live next to a prison school in Baltimore. No joke. Bars on the doors, I never see any kids come in or out... I think it's a middle school, maybe an elementary school. It's across the street from me. I didn't realize it was a school until one year i saw school busses at the beginning of the school year, and then NO MORE. There's never any kids around, nobody comes in or out, but in the morning you can hear prison-yard-style bullhorns blaring the morning announcements out around the whole school.

Conditioning (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242718)

All this will do is to condition these children to accept invasive tracking and surveillance. This is not a question of children's rights, it is a question of what those children will think is normal or acceptable in a decade, when they are adults.

Re:Conditioning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242864)

Let's face reality. This kid is either going to be in jail or forced by the courts to wear a tracking device for most of his life. He might as well get used to it. At least this one won't be bolted to his ankle unlike the ones he will wear in his 20s. Start early and easy on him. Educate him that this is his future.

Re:Conditioning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242868)

Or teach them from an early age the need and the how to evade Big Brother.

Re:Conditioning (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243008)

You're joking right? Those students who do this are already truants. They have little interest in actually responding properly to authority and I'd be absolutely and utterly shocked if, in a decade when they're adults, if they have any more respect for the laws of society.

I am not saying it's not an invasion of privacy, it is, but those outfitted with these tracking devices aren't exactly the types you're making them out to be.

Re:Conditioning (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243142)

Kids are supposed to be tracked, some times invasively. It's called parenting. Freedom and privacy should be earned through good behavior.

I don't support using devices like this, but if the parents can't keep the kids in check it makes sense to work something out.

Training for the future (5, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242726)

This, like so many other school programs, is an egregious violation of the students' rights. Yet, we allow it under the all to used "think of the children" guise. What it really results in is a bunch of people who are trained from childhood that violating their rights is OK if the right circumstances present themselves.

Re:Training for the future (2)

theY4Kman (1519023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242744)

You say this as if it wasn't their intention.

Re:Training for the future (0)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242802)

Blame stupidity -- I doubt that the people who devised this program would object to having their own movements tracked by GPS, and so they never considered how this program would impact the students' future perception of their rights.

Re:Training for the future (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243104)

Blame stupidity -- I doubt that the people who devised this program would object to having their own movements tracked by GPS, and so they never considered how this program would impact the students' future perception of their rights.

Their perception of their rights should be thus: If you violate the law (in this case, the law is *go to class*) you will be punished accordingly by having some of your rights (the right to have control over where you go and when) taken away, because you have demonstrated a lack of aptitude for properly exercising that right. It's quite simple. If the alternative is suspension/expulsion, I say strap a tracker on them and watch them 24/7 with updates every 15 seconds. Kids who are on the slippery slope toward delinquency need to be shown what its like to be punished, instead of being given what they want (a way out of school).

Re:Training for the future (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242832)

"It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."
-- Justice Abe Fortas, in Tinker v. Des Moines, 1969.92

But, apparently, they do shed their right to privacy.

Re:Training for the future (1)

nitrogensixteen (812667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242960)

What right to privacy?
That which is not in the constitution can be removed without amendment.

Re:Training for the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35243076)

The right [usconstitution.net] against unreasonable search. Pinpointing a person's exact location on a whim could be interpreted as unreasonable search.

Re:Training for the future (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242888)

This, like so many other school programs, is an egregious violation of the students' rights.

Not so. Most parents would happily sign a release if it meant not having to go through truancy charges.

Re:Training for the future (5, Insightful)

Eevee (535658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243020)

From the fine article

Students and their parents volunteer for the monitoring as a way to avoid continuation school or prosecution with a potential stay in juvenile hall.

So this is to keep children from getting in legal problems. It's not all kids, just those at risk of getting dragged into the court system.

Police Investigator Armando Pardo reminded parents that letting kids skip school without a valid reason is, in fact, a crime.

The entering of the codes isn't just to verify the child has the unit, but also to assist them in planning to get to school. (8PM code entry? Reminder to get stuff ready for the next school day.) In addition, it involves coaching the children to work on their attendance habits.

So it's voluntary, has less impact on the students than the alternatives, and is designed to work with the students to improve their performance. Yep, that sounds like a violation of their rights.

Re:Training for the future (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243072)

No, i am pretty sure the guise here is "think of the fuckups" who will be carrying the trackers; maybe after they spend their freshman year of high school doing so and feeling what its like to be treated like a criminal they will decide they need to start earning trust (by not skipping school). Sure there are other ways to punish, this is just a slightly more convoluted way to do it that has the side effect of maintaining discipline whilst the punishment is being carried out (as opposed to suspension/expulsion which often leads to more delinquency). This is nothing more than a virtual (and MUCH MUCH cheaper) form of juvenile detention. The rest of the population will have no problem since they wont be required to carry the trackers at all.

Perfect? Not at all, but in a perfect world parents would be keeping their kids in line so the schools didnt have to.

Big Brother (1)

acalltoreason (1732266) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242728)

Wow, talk about an invasion of privacy. I realize they are kids, but they have rights too. Plus, and I realize I have to solid arguments to back this up, but this is just wrong...while being truant is not an ideal course of action for the kids future...its not going to work, if for no other reason that it relies on a KID remembering to imput a code 5 times a day. If I were any of the kids in this pilot program, I'd tell them to shove it.

Re:Big Brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242740)

"Students and their parents volunteer for the monitoring as a way to avoid continuation school or prosecution with a potential stay in juvenile hall."

They volunteered. Don't volunteer if you think they should shove it.

Re:Big Brother (4, Insightful)

Wolvenhaven (1521217) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242808)

Threatening someone with jail time or fines if they don't volunteer is like saying there is a mandatory donation required to attend a free event.

Re:Big Brother (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242900)

Threatening someone with jail time or fines if they don't volunteer is like saying there is a mandatory donation required to attend a free event.

So should they also scrap community service and probation options and stick everyone with pure jail-time instead? If you've done something you can be jailed for but they think you'll reform with some minimal oversight I don't see the issue with offering it as an option.

Re:Big Brother (2)

Arccot (1115809) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243028)

Threatening someone with jail time or fines if they don't volunteer is like saying there is a mandatory donation required to attend a free event.

So should they also scrap community service and probation options and stick everyone with pure jail-time instead? If you've done something you can be jailed for but they think you'll reform with some minimal oversight I don't see the issue with offering it as an option.

He didn't say that. He's just pointing out, correctly, that "volunteering" means there is little to no incentive to do something, but you do it anyways. Convicted criminals don't "volunteer" to accept community service or probation, they choose it as an alternative to options they consider worse. Just like I don't "volunteer" to go to work every day.

These kids are the same. To call it voluntary is a joke.

Re:Big Brother (3, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243026)

Threatening someone with jail time or fines if they don't volunteer is like saying there is a mandatory donation required to attend a free event.

They're not picking random kids off the street for this. These kids are already facing juvenile hall. They a had a choice: go to school or get in trouble. Now they have another choice: go to school and be tracked or go to juvenile hall. These kids already made the first choice so now they (and their parents) are forced to make the second choice.

I'm not thrilled with the program - I think they should just lock the kids up in reform school/juvenile hall/whatever. They have free will and they made their choice so let them live with the consequences. Maybe they'll learn from their mistakes, or maybe not.

Re:Big Brother (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243112)

My uni had that schizo policy: you had to pay "voluntary" contribution tickets. When, on the students' system, you read "This year, you are required to pay 8 voluntary contribution tickets", hilarity ensued. To be honest, if you didn't have that money, you could pay less, or nothing at all, but they could have chosen a better name. One that didn't blatantly lied would have been cool.

Re:Big Brother (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242784)

Well, maybe the part that they have to press a key sequence is wrong, but they don't know that - to see if they will follow rules. It probably tracks locations every minute so it can be reviewed later when bracelet is downloaded. In fact, maybe the key sequence is actually to download their data to the school for their data retention.

After reading the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242734)

I think its fine for just a temporary program. Was a bit reluctant about it, but since the kids and parents are volunteering for six weeks, seems like a pretty good idea. Just wish they would explain what schools that they have been implemented in. I'm gonna guess that this probably doesn't work well in the hoods of Baltimore.

this really is the nanny state (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242760)

what business is it of the school, what the kid does at 8pm?
if tfs is correct (there's a first for everything), that is after
they leave school.

oh, and how could a kid possibly cheat. anyone with opposable
thumbs could potentially operate the device.

What a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242764)

It's a bad joke. I can see one of these kids leaving the unit with a buddy that is in school and they enter the code while the other kid is out enjoying themselves.
Maybe if the state spent the money to keep school interesting they wouldn't have so many kids skipping out on them.

And this will stop what? (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242774)

I skipped quite often in high school, consequences be damned. I would have just left this in my locker and ignored it, not bothering to enter the code or keep it on me -- even on the days I was actually at school. I don't know why they expect this to stop anyone.

Why 8pm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242776)

I can understand the other check-times as they're related to attendance and the school day. 8pm is way outside anything a school should be interested in. Its just a police "anti-gang" initiative hiding under the subterfuge of preventing truancy.

Wrong approach (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242778)

Again with the technical solution to a social problem. Why not talk to the students and ask them why they are skipping school.

Where are the parents? (1)

MellowTigger (633958) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242790)

Why not track the parents instead? Why not require that the adults check in 5 times a day, insisting that they know what their spawn are up to.

What happens when you put it in a faraday cage? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242806)

A plastic bag and then aluminum foil. Or one of those mylar lined freezer bags?

Re:What happens when you put it in a faraday cage? (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243018)

It doesn't report that you are where you are supposed to be at the appropriate times and the police come around and you get to serve whatever the alternate sentence (fine and/or jail time) was that you accepted this in lieu of.

Spare the rod, spoil the child. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242838)

What's to stop these kids from paying someone else to punch in the code for them at the school/home? This just seems like a huge waste of tax dollars!

Little Siblings and Friends (1)

Crippere (1825560) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242842)

What's going to keep these kids from handing the tracker to a younger sibling or to a friend who does actually go to class? "At eight o'clock, enter this code, or I'll tell Mom you screwed up!" Oh yeah, the truant student's own sense of "doing the right thing"...

Cell Phone Solution! (-1, Troll)

Nailer235 (1822054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242852)

Nowadays every kid has a cell phone. Why not allow the schools to install an app. that automatically relays their location back to the school every five minutes? The kids may decide to just leave the cell phone somewhere. Luckily cell phones have cameras too. If you automatically relay a picture back every hour, you can ensure that the cell phone is moving and that the kid is near it. Or require the kid to take a picture of his face next to a clock every hour. Surely that's not overly intrusive.

Parents (1)

crmarvin42 (652893) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242854)

I'd like to see the reaction of the parents. If my child were going truant a lot, I'd approve. Education is important, and it's hard to get that education if you avoid spending any time in the presence of your assigned educators. However, if I don't believe my child is being truant, then I'd be outraged. I can't see how the school can enforce this without parental cooperation. Especially the 8PM entry. That's essentially tracking what the parents do with their child, and when they send them to bed. Is the child going to be in trouble because he fell asleep on the couch at 7 and Dad carried him to bed without entering the ping at 8? What about when the parents decide to treat them to a movie that gets out at 8:15 at a theatre half an hour from home?

Re:Parents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242966)

I'm a parent. I agree that education is important, but if your kid can't stand to actually attend school, it might be time to look for some alternative education. Forcing him to attend isn't going to make him learn, and if he's disruptive, it's ruining the experience for the other kids. Anecdotes like this article make me want to homeschool my kid.

Re:Parents (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243106)

Anecdotes like this article make me want to homeschool my kid.

Home schooling is perfectly fine for those parents that can do it (not everyone can - it's just another skill set). Home schooling has its good and bad points, but it will certainly address the truancy issue. Will it fix the reasons why the student doesn't want to learn or go to school? Maybe, maybe not. If you have the choice between home school or reform school, I'm thinking home school is the better solution almost every time.

Re:Parents (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242974)

Why is the school district pushing it? If the parents don't care, throw the bums out of school, and protect the kids that want to study. Truancy is not the school district's responsibility.

Optional? (1)

yakovlev (210738) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242860)

I love how they claim it's "optional" but,

If the District Attorney chooses to prosecute, truant students could be sentenced to juvenile hall and parents could face up to a $2,000 fine, Pardo said.

In other words, if you miss school, we track you or you go to jail.

Re:Optional? (1)

Takichi (1053302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243098)

Isn't that the penalty for truancy to begin with? They're already going to be fined and detained, so this is offering them a less severe punishment if they can accept the terms responsibility.

extracurricular (2)

strack (1051390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242870)

8pm? what goddamn business is it of the government where your child is at 8pm? not that the rest of it isnt bad enough.

Re:extracurricular (1)

mistralol (987952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242944)

Actually the system does't work without it. Loo at the following. Its a gps device and a code is required. Ok so I would give it to the school nerd to carry for the day and for that agree not to beat him up. However I may have not had a chance to get the device off the person at the end of the day. So unfortunately the person skipping school gets cough out later @ 8pm because the device is still in the home of the other person carrying the device. Now you have two people in trouble!

Such negative backlash... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242872)

How many of you guys are actually teachers? As an educator, I actually this is a great idea. Students under 16 are required to be in school, so if they are truant we have to spend resources to sends truancy officer after them, then the kids have to show up in court, etc. This seems it would reduce those costs, both financial and educational.

Re:Such negative backlash... (2)

Arccot (1115809) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243080)

How many of you guys are actually teachers? As an educator, I actually this is a great idea. Students under 16 are required to be in school, so if they are truant we have to spend resources to sends truancy officer after them, then the kids have to show up in court, etc. This seems it would reduce those costs, both financial and educational.

It would only reduce costs if the child complies with the terms of the tracking or it causes the child to attend school instead of skipping. I honestly can't see why it would. If the threat of going to juvie didn't stop the kid from cutting in the first place, why would it stop them from not using their tracker?

Re:Such negative backlash... (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243096)

Students under 16 are required to be in school

And there's the core problem.

ok, i'll say it. (1)

furrymitn (1681200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242892)

Where the fuck are the parents? TFA makes no mention of the parents involvement in this program, only school officials, police, etc. WTF? On top of that they get an AUTOMATED call reminding them to get to school. Where I come from, that's called an ALARM CLOCK. Really? Talk about teaching irresponsibility by taking the responsibility from them...forcefully. Here you go, now you don't have to worry about setting your alarm... it's all done for you now. Oh, and your parent doesn't have to do anything...

8 PM? (5, Insightful)

dragonsomnolent (978815) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242894)

WTF? If this is about them skipping school, what does their location at 8PM have anything to do with whether or not they are at school?

Re:8 PM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242920)

WTF? If this is about them skipping school, what does their location at 8PM have anything to do with whether or not they are at school?

It's to help combat the huge problem we have with truant children breaking into the school at 8pm to stud... er wait

GPS isn't a solution (5, Interesting)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242896)

Maybe instead of treating students like cattle, schools should become more interesting and figure out why kids are actually skipping school.

I did all the time, until I was old enough to drop out, get a GED and head to college. I never missed classes in College because I was able to determine for myself what interested me and what goals I wanted to achieve.

This was because I had moved into a new school district that didn't really evaluate my needs, and instead stuck be in classes that were beneath the level of work I was doing in my previous school. I went from doing algebra and trigonometry to doing long division.

I'm sure that's not why all students skip school. I sure some are getting bullied, some are on drugs, and others are overwhelmed with their homework. Whatever the case, GPS won't solve the problems.

Re:GPS isn't a solution (1)

mrthoughtful (466814) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243084)

Exactly. Meeting the needs of your client (in this case, the child) is something that seems to be missed out here.
But then, the US seems to be caught in a web of antiquated behavioural psychology ideas.
The idea of actually caring about how your client feels is missed. Not just schools, but prisons and other institutions also.
It seems to be driven by "conform with authority, or be penalized" - a weird message from the Land of the Free.

Re:GPS isn't a solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35243090)

Maybe instead of treating students like cattle, schools should become more interesting and figure out why kids are actually skipping school.

I did all the time, until I was old enough to drop out, get a GED and head to college. I never missed classes in College because I was able to determine for myself what interested me and what goals I wanted to achieve.

This was because I had moved into a new school district that didn't really evaluate my needs, and instead stuck be in classes that were beneath the level of work I was doing in my previous school. I went from doing algebra and trigonometry to doing long division.

I'm sure that's not why all students skip school. I sure some are getting bullied, some are on drugs, and others are overwhelmed with their homework. Whatever the case, GPS won't solve the problems.

Nothing will change until thier double helix can be fixed!

bad parents, bad kids (1)

metalgamer84 (1916754) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242918)

Juan Cruz's mom, Cristina, said she supports the program and hopes it helps her son get to school â" and stay there. "I understand that he's been missing class. He's one of six children, and we can't always keep an eye on him," she said in Spanish. "I think this is a good idea that will help him."

Ahh yes, crappy parents with too many kids want the state to raise their delinquent children... *sigh*

I don't get it (1)

ProbablyJoe (1914672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242924)

How does this help? Obviously if they're not at school, then their location is not...in the school. The staff in the school know if they are at school. And then if they're not at school, they're obviously not going to willingly tell the police or their school where they are.

So basically, if they're at school it's redundant, and if they're not at school they're not going to use it. How is this supposed to be useful?

"Hey Billy, let's skip class and go to the mall!" "Ok, but I need to tell the police once we're there"

Students and inmates now have a lot in common (1)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242930)

Schools are one step closer to becoming prisons. I do not condone truancy, but I cringe when I hear of solutions such as tracking students by GPS. Not only does it treat students like prisoners, but it conditions the students to accept such tracking as acceptable and they will grow up not seeing an issue with the government wanting to track them and control them. I don't know what is the best way to combat truancy, but there has to be a less invasive way. Fine the parents for unexcused truancy, since the sole reason schools want better attendance is to get more state monies since it is often tied to daily attendance. Sure the parents may not pay, but I'd rather the solution be something to encourage parents to make sure their kids go to school rather than have big brother stepping in to do it for the parents.

Re:Students and inmates now have a lot in common (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243068)

Three groups in society always have fewer rights than the rest of us: soldiers, prisoners, and children. Soldiers, because they nobly relinquish their rights to protect the rest of us. Prisoners, because they forfeit their rights due to breaking our laws. Children, because forcing them to do things is good for them.

Re:Students and inmates now have a lot in common (1)

nilloc (678273) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243144)

Placing fines on the parents is not a solution also. If parent drags the child to school in the morning and place that child in the classroom, what is stopping that child from leaving the school grounds? Some kids don't care about authority and their parents. If you fine the parent and they cannot paid it goes on their credit report. What good is that? Children that deems their parents to be unfit can petition court for emancipation. What parents should do that have children that won't listen should petition the court to have the child declared emancipated. After all isn't that what the child wants? To be declared an adult and do as he please?

What about a friend? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35242954)

I'm sure these students have friends. So why not pay a friend to be in school for you? Problem solved

Is this really a surprise? (1)

Revotron (1115029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242964)

This is California, the state built on the foundation of "Save the Trees, Kill the Children."

Is there any mystery why the fuck they're in massive amounts of debt and suffering the biggest budget crisis of the state's history? Their answer to EVERY problem is to throw money at it. Kids not learning as well? Let's give them all iPads. Kids not eating well? Instead of teaching them healthy choices, let's remove all the vending machines. Kids not showing up at school? Instead of making school more appealing to them, let's tag them like cattle.

California is a state where passing the buck (literally and figuratively) has become not only a regular occurrence, but a fucking pastime.

Are the schools worth attending? (1)

accessbob (962147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35242972)

Considering how badly funded many US schools are, with under-qualified teaching staff, does it make much difference whether the kids are actually there or not?

Sledgehammer to crack a walnut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35243000)

This may be a cultural thing, but don't you have registers in the USA? Where at the start of the day, each lesson, after lunch etc... a teacher goes down a list of names and checks said named student is actually present in class? So missing ones are instantly noticed? Admittedly it is rather low-tech compared to GPS-enabled bracelets but... seriously?

Behold - A Magic Trick! (1)

AtomicDevice (926814) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243002)

Behold as I ... give it to my friend and tell him the code!!!! UNBELIEVABLE

Also what if I just throw the tracking device in a lake and continue skipping school? This just seems like a waste of resources - buying expensive GPS (they must be at least a GPS module and probably a cell phone radio?) units and giving them to kids who, as they are often skippers, don't really care about school or keeping in good condition the expensive thing you gave them.

This seems like the kind of tactic that would encourage a (potenital) miscreant who skips sometimes to just stop coming all together.

Seems like a stillborn idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35243024)

This is rather broken
1) GPS is not reliable due to requiring line of site, A-GPS requires triangulation from mobile phone towers, and is only accurage to about 100 meters.
2) The little twits that skip school are either really stupid, or really smart, this is only going to work on the stupid ones.
a. The stupid ones will just get their smart friends to hack it or teach them how to work around it.
b. The smart ones will just hack it or work around it.
3.) Having to enter a code is the weakness in combined with the GPS. Throw the tracker in shielded box and enter the code without the GPS locking on, and voila, broken.

This is the kind of thing I'd hack because it's a challenge.

Why this won't work (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35243056)

"Hey Dexter, I got this GPS thing I have to keep inputting to. Put the codes in for me while I skip school again and I won't beat you up for the next week."

incomplete summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35243102)

I RTFA, and the headline/summary is rather sensationalistic--Oh right, I'm on Slashdot.

The one hugely important detail left out:

This is NOT a punishment, it's a VOLUNTARY program to help students get back on track.

Can't handle the pressure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35243114)

I now have to reliably remember to check in on five different devices with five different codes or risk a 5x atomic wedgie from hell.

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