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Learning the Hard Way

Posted by LC Aggie Sith on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 in Public Ed, Rants, Total Bullshit

Some of the H&B readers and lurkers may be familiar with RFID, AKA Radio Frequency Identification. Basically, it’s the use of a microchip to detect your presence. Ranchers use this for cattle.

And now schools use them for students.

[T]he Northside Independent School District will be issuing RFID-equipped identification cards that the kids have to wear on lanyards any time they’re on campus. And then, in some corner of the principal’s office, the students show up as moving dots on a map of the screen like some real life game of Pac Man.

When NISD first proposed this, they defended it by masking it with concern for truant children. But the reality is, it is a way to keep taking money from the state. You see, school budgets are intertwined with attendance, and if kids are not in his or her seat when roll is called, that means the school doesn’t get money for having a kid in that seat.

Now, y’all may think that parents are ok with this because the schools are using it, right? Noooooooope. Parents were told, not even asked that this programs was to be implemented. Now, that was their first mistake. Their second mistake was implementing it at a magnet school. One very intelligent young woman stood up for her rights and refused to wear the lanyard with the tracking chip, and for that, she was expelled. She in turn took the case to court, and a judge will be ruling on her temporary injunction next week. And as it happens, someone decided to wreak a little havoc to bring attention to this rather obvious infringement on privacy.

Personally, I am not a fan of the entity known as Anonymous. In their quest for equilateral anarchy, they tend to leave a mess in their wake. But they are an equal opportunity pest, and sometimes they do hit a nail in a coffin pretty well. This Anon person makes a valid point: ASK THE PARENTS FIRST!!! They are the ones paying the taxes for the school system. Further, I have an issue with their whole “first period attendance” thing. According to my source, attendance is taken in the second period, because students do run late, have mishaps on the road, or buses can be late getting in. By second period, everyone who is at school is there anyway. Any student that has a doctor’s appointment, for example, is counted present when he or she check into the attendance office, so that excuse is weak at best.

The whole program reeks of control. Anyone who claims that this is for the safety of the children is either deluded, or in collusion. Just think what would happen if a pedophile hacked into the database. What’s next? Spying on students’ webcams?

Oh, wait…. that already happened.

Bring on the comments

  1. DaninVan says:

    Does putting them* in the microwave for a few seconds kill the chip?
    (*The cards, not the students)
    Seems like a little guerrilla warfare is overdue.
    At the very least, drilling a tiny hole theough the cards’ chips would offer temporary relief.
    On the laptop part, cover the camera orifice with tape…better yet, a dab of nailpolish

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  2. John D says:

    “Ranchers use this for cattle.”

    They can also be used for tracking sheep. To include the kind that walk on two legs.

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  3. DiV, the lanyards are turned in at the end of the day, which IMO further gives lie to their “For The Children!!” excuse, since plenty of kids remain behind for extra-curricular activities. It’s about money now, and control later.

  4. DaninVan says:

    If we put our minds to it we can come up with a way of killing the chips! :)
    (How about tasering them…)

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  5. QueenBee says:

    Both of our laptops have tape over the cameras. I don’t want anyone watching me… As for the chips- watch how quickly Buttercup becomes homeschooled!

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  6. hilljohnny says:

    one must take care to never microwave anything that has a rfid chip. this includes your drivers license, passport and credit cards. microwaves will burn out the circuits in the chip. ;)

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  7. DaninVan says:

    Must be something in the computer lab… ;)

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  8. Sentry says:

    I’ve got an RDIF blocking wallet which is great for protecting my cards, but it also means I have to pull my wallet out of my pocket and open it to the scanner if I want to get into my reserve unit on parade nights. Small price to pay. BTW, they also make RFID blocking passport wallets. Just a thought.

    If the kids were into crafts, they could make blingy protectors for the cards. Maybe something in a copper mesh. Of course, that would also act as a faraday cage and block the readers from “seeing” the chips.

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  9. LCGrammar Czar says:

    Were it MY child forced to wear that thing, the first day would be his/her last. The parents who are unhappy need to DO something about it, instead of just complain to the press.

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