Monday, February 14, 2005

So now we're against ID tags too?

See the link. A small California school has started an experimental program where students are required to wear ID badges around their necks. This itself is not so extraordinary. What's extraordinary is that the badges contain radio frequency transmitters that contain basic information about the student.

The school uses this to simplify attendance taking, and to help keep track of the students. For example, when someone enters or leaves the building, a computer keeps track of it. A system like this makes sense. It allows for much easier management of students, as well as providing another security measure (if you're not wearing and ID badge, you probably shouldn't be at the school). Of course, there are natural limitations to such a system. What if someone swipes your badge? Also, you can't track the student if he/she isn't wearing their badge.

The ACLU and other liberal whiners (i.e. The Vidette editorial board) are not concerned with the limitations of such a system. They're more concerned with violations of student privacy. Those bad, bad men just want money from former students, power over the current ones, and to spy on little girls in the bathroom.

Okay, I exaggerated on the last one. A little.

First off, when have students ever had any right to privacy at school? The teachers have a right (and rightfully so) to know where you are in the building at any time. They can search your backpack, locker, or person at any time without reason or notification. What suddenly entitles the students to privacy?

Second, how does this even violate privacy? The sensors for the badges, as I understand it, are over the doors to the classrooms (so far, only the 7th and 8th grade classrooms at that), and the entrances to the building. Not, as the reactionary Vidette staff seems to think, in the bathrooms. That would probably be something to worry about. This is not. Now, they want to install readers for the cards in the locker rooms, in order to reduce vandalism. Again, this is going to far? The school should already know when someone is in there for gym class or athletics. This just makes it easier to say for certain when someone is and is not in there (although, again, if someone wants to vandalize after school, what prevents them from removing the badge?).

Does the school knowing when you enter and leave the classroom mean a violation of privacy? I guess if you don't know what the word means, then yes. Yes it does.

Stupid Vidette staff. They just keep getting me riled up. If they publish any more nonsense, I'm going to go nuts.

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