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Tracking Tardy Kids With GPS Is A Great Idea

Tardy kids are learning their lesson the Orwellian way with GPS technology. But maybe it's not such a bad idea. The shocking truth at Motherboard.tv
February 23, 2011, 3:34pm

I accidentally clicked on a news article the other morning about two Anaheim schools that started using GPS to curb truancy.

I don't know about you, but I used to skip school constantly. I ditched so many classes and was tardy so often that by February of my senior year I was told that I wouldn’t graduate if I missed a single class ever again. Way to tax my gig hardcore Shrewsbury High. I can't even tell you how many of my mornings began with my mother kicking down my door, screaming that I had ten minutes to get my ass to school. Eventually, it got to the point where I would cry any time I was woken up abruptly, which has lasted well into my twenties. Anyway, the idea of tracking students seems Orwellian, so I thought I would see how badly these kids’ civil liberties were being violated by technology.

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Dale Junior High and Anaheim Union High School cover grades seven through twelve, and are the first schools in California to use electronic monitoring to help fight truancy. Seventy-five students who have four or more unexcused absences are being asked to take part in a six week pilot program that involves mentoring, wake up calls every morning, and hand held GPS devices. Students have to punch a code into these cell phone-sized gadgets five times a day to show their location; parents volunteer their children because it beats being fined $2,000 for having a truant kid.

There are actually about one hundred schools across the country that participate in this type of program, and the results are very positive, as long as the students' whereabouts are being tracked.

Listen. I’m usually the first person to run with far-fetched conspiracy theories and hate on Uncle Sam for keeping tabs on me. You'd think I would be against this, too. It includes all the things I hate: narcs, school, big brother, authority. But I’m all for it. I honestly don't think this is the worst idea.

One school system in Texas had a nine year old student in this program. Ha. What could this kid possibly be doing with his time other than attending elementary school? Coolest human ever.

When I was nine, I spent my days picking scabs because I was always eating shit on my bicycle and playing with troll dolls. What a loser. This kid is like, hustling people in pool halls and throwing back juice boxes, which rules, but is it really so bad that someone is making him go to school? I mean, a third grade education can only get you so far these days.

AIM Truancy Solutions is one company specializing in helping schools crack down on all the ditchers. They are in three states, ten markets, and rapidly expanding. It’s obvious why. School is still the pits. I'm not even being sarcastic. Truancy is a huge issue for public schools, costing them upwards of $45 per absent student, so when narcs Paul Pottigner, Ph.D and Shelton Stogner created AIM, they knew they were going to be lining their pockets with truant money.

Down with fat cats, but it would be a lie to say I'm not jealous I didn't come up with this idea first.

Not to sound like a gaylord, but I wish I had done better in high school, then maybe my life wouldn't be a complete joke. It's cool though. How many people can say they spent the past ten years eating Wendy's and watching the X-Files all day, only to be working on a bachelors in History at age twenty-nine. No regrets. Who gives a shit if kids are being tackled in candy shops and playgrounds by giant, truancy bounty hunters? Like I said before, unless you're talking to me about the next Nick Cage movie, or Jennifer Aniston's newest haircut, I really don't care. From The Orange County Register.