Don’t mess with Texas’s new student locator program. Northside Independent School District is piloting a program that uses microchips to track students’ whereabouts. The Radio Frequency Identification System (RFID) will be utilized in the form of smart ID cards to be worn around the neck. This technology will be used in two San Antonio schools this upcoming year.
The student locator program has three objectives. It is meant to increase student safety and security since educators will always know where students are. However, the ID cards will only work within the school building. It will improve attendance accuracy and therefore increase state revenues. It will also serve as photo identification that will allow youth access to the cafeteria, library and other extra curricular activities.
While there are many security benefits associated with this technology, these ID cards could be removed and kept at school (like in a locker) if a student were to cutting class. It also raises additional concerns around punishing children to stay in class. While this will deter many from skipping school, it may not address some of the deeper issues at hand and could create negative implications down the road.