Two San Antonio school have begun using RFID chips to track their students. The school claims these tags are being used to take accurate attendance, but parents think that this is too much. The school says they are not staffed to track every student and sit in front of monitors, spying on their students. The students are wearing cards with RFID chips embedded in them to more accurately account for their students.
The school claims this will be used to only for attendance because the school is provided funds according to how many students show up each day. They claim they lose $240.00 a day on misreported absentees. If the RFID chips are used, the school could pay back the money in one year with the extra funds they receive.
In addition to the extra school funding, these chips would also make in easier for the administration to locate students in case of an emergency. If a student must leave early for an emergency then the school can find them quickly. Furthermore, if a fire occurred at the school, the administration could easily know if all students made it out safely, and how many are missing. If the student is late for a class they will note need a note anymore, the administration could just check the RFID and find out where the student was. This technology will also prevent students from skipping out on class and leaving school early. If a student skips class and leaves the school, the school is responsible for anything that happens to them. With the RFID chips they can avoid this problem all together.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding these chips. Many parents think its wrong to track students in this way. It is dehumanizing to make kids where trackers telling the school where they are at all times. Nobody wants their principal to know when their going to the bathroom. The students are being tracked like cattle. Tagging just makes them another number and will stop individualism among students. Another problem with these cards is that kids are very forgetful. Many students will forget their cards at home. This will mark them absent still and will not stop the problem. If the only reason they are doing this is to get more funding then this system may not make much of a difference because of these forgetful students.
Many people like their privacy. RFID chips compromise this privacy. These chips being carried also makes people worry about “Big Brother”. “Big Brother” is the idea that the government is always watching you. Many think that RFID chips are a way for the government to track people and compromises their privacy.
I believe that these chips are too controversial to be used at this time, especially in a public school. People are scared that the government will watch them. Using these chips in schools will make this fear greater and will cause more problems then is will fix.