The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).





Of Bradley County Tn.


SEPTEMBER  2012

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.

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Rebellion erupts over school's student-chipping plan
Parents protest radio monitoring of their children


"A student's location could be monitored from a distance by a jealous girlfriend or boyfriend, stalker, or pedophile."

The San Antonio plan was reported by Spychips, a website run by RFID expert Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre.

"San Antonio's Northside Independent School District plans to incorporate RFID tags into mandatory student ID cards. One school district in Brazil has incorporated the tracking tags into uniforms. In both cases, the goal is to keep students, teachers and staff under constant surveillance," the report said.

"RFID is used to track factory inventory and monitor farm animals," said Albrecht, director of CASPIAN and co-author of "Spychips." "Schools, of all places, should be teaching children how to participate in a free democratic society, not conditioning them to be tracked like cattle. Districts planning to use RFID should brace themselves for a parent backlash, protests, and lawsuits."

According to the San Antonio newspaper, all students in the district's John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School would be subject to chipping.

At that point, Supt. Brian Woods said, "We want to harness the power of (the) technology to make schools safer, know where our students are all the time in a school, and increase revenues. Parents expect that we always know where their children are, and this technology will help us do that."

WOAI television reported district spokesman Pasqual Gonzalez said the two schools have a high rate of truancy, and the district could gain $2 million in state funding by improving attendance.

However, student Andea Hernandez, with support from her father, has decided to challenge the district's plan. The station reported she has decided to wear an older photo ID.

"With a smart phone you can use the option to use your locator, but this, I can't turn it off," she said.

Protests have been launched in front of the schools, and local stations are reporting the controversy.

Albrecht said in a statement to supporters the issue now is before the school district, and protesters are awaiting the superintendent's response.

"We don't give up or give in," she said.

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