FAQ :: Are students being tracked with GPS transmitters?

In 2010 public schools began tracking students with GPS transmitters to ensure their safety and attendance.

A judge ordered 22 students at Bryan High School in Texas to carry GPS tracking devices in the name of preventing truancy. “Bryan High students who skip school will soon be tracked 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” reports KBTX. [1]

Palos heights School District 128 has become one of the first in Illinois to begin using GPS to track schoolchildren riding buses to and from school each day. It had previously been using ZPass, a GPS technology provided by Seattle-based Zonar Systems, to track the buses, but now students are tracked with a luggage tag-sized unit in their backpacks that logs when they step on and off the bus.

Palos School Superintendent Kathleen Casey says the system helps alleviate parents’ concerns. The district spent $16,000 for the technology, which currently covers 10 buses. Parents say the cost is minimal for the benefits. [2]

Contra Costa County officials are outfitting preschoolers with tracking devices they say will save staff time and money. The system requires preschoolers to wear a jersey that has a small radio frequency tag. The tag will send signals to sensors located throughout the school that help track a child’s movements. It also keeps track of their attendance and whether they have eaten or not. School officials say it will free up teachers and administrators who previously had to note on paper files when a child was absent or had eaten. The system cost $50,000, but it was paid by a federal grant. [3]

Anaheim Union High School District was the first in California to use GPS technology to track its students. Students in the seventh and eighth grades who have four unexcused absences are assigned a GPS device about the size of a cell phone. They receive an automated call each morning to remind them to go to school. The cost of the program was paid by a federal grant. [4]

There was no safety issue to compel Big Brother to track students. Schools lose money from the federal government when students do not attend class. It is all about money for the local school districts, but for Big Brother it is all about tracking students 24-7. Big Brother wants to track all students from preschool to college with GPS technology 24-7. This was just the start. Look for this Big Brother scam to spread throughout the country and around the world.

Lazy college students at Northern Arizona University are being targeted. All student ID cards will be implanted with radio-frequency ID chips so NAU faculty can track their movements.

A university spokesman told Government Technology magazine that the intent is to encourage professors to incorporate attendance into grading systems. More frequent attendance will lead to higher grades. The system, purchased with $85,000 in federal stimulus funds, is scheduled to start the fall semester of 2012.

NAU installed card readers in all classrooms that seat 50 or more students. Professors who teach smaller classes have to take attendance the old fashion way.

Some 1,500 students protested the scheme. Some students might have tried to subvert the system by having a friend carry his card to class. [5]

[1] Stancik, Meredith. “Texas Schoolkids Tagged With GPS Tracking Devices.” 1.18.2010.
[2] NBC Chicago. “GPS Tracks Schoolbus Kids.” 8.31.2010.
[3] Mercury News. “California students get tracking devices.” 8.18.2010.
“Privacy and Safety Questions Loom Over Federal Program to Track Preschoolers.” 9.14.2010.
[4] Carpenter, Eric. “Kids who skip school are tracked by GPS.” Orange County Register. 2.17.2011.
5].Boyle, Rebecca. “Northern Arizona University To Use RFID Tags to Monitor Student Attendance.”5.17.2010. Ryman, Anne. “New technology at NAU to track attendance.” 4.27.2010. Arizona Republic.