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28 February 2011 @ 05:23 am
Small anecdote, big issue.  
California school district uses GPS tracking to prevent students from ditching classes.

Hmmm, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this being pursued as a real method of prevention, to be honest.

Personal anecdote time: I started ditching classes in junior high, and it progressed well into high school. I got punished by means of many detentions, including Saturday detentions and almost a suspension, and privileges being taken away at home. I also paid the price later on and had to suffer the long-term consequences of my actions. But the point is that even though I was punished I still continued on with the act afterward, I got sneakier at covering my ass with forged signatures on excuse notes, faking sick to go home, etc. Granted, it's more technologically advanced than when I was in school, but who is to say kids won't find alternative routes of escaping this method and not getting caught?

Education is vastly important, and ditching school shouldn't be tolerated and those who are caught should be punished for their actions as I was, though the system shouldn't be wasting their money on these devices when there are simpler ways of handling such offenses. Like, understanding why kids are ditching and wanting to escape school, for example. Are they being bullied? Are they involved with a particular crowd that are being bad influences? Are they unhappy, unmotivated? These are some of the underlining issues that causes kids to ditch, and using this scare tactic isn't going to solve anything but make them even more bitter and angrier at school itself. Catch them in the act, let them suffer the consequences of their actions, but also help them. Understand where they are coming from, whether this takes a school guidance counselor or tutor or whatever, make them understand that school is there to help them succeed instead of being a prison.

The only upside I see is tracking kids and seeing where they are going if they are not in school, like if they are causing trouble or in trouble when they aren't supervised, which could potentially save lives. But really, I think tracking by controlling them shouldn't be something made regular or even mandatory when students have more than a few unexcused absences.

What does everyone else think? Should the education system do GPS tracking systems on students, or is this just a waste of time and money?
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
isarae: DOT DOT DOTisarae on February 28th, 2011 01:36 pm (UTC)
My first reaction was "...WHAT?!" so I guess I can safely say I'm against it. I feel like it's invasion of privacy and it defintely moves schooling towards 'a chore' or, like you say, 'a prison' rather than education. And quite simply, bring out a new method of control and someone will find a way to get around in ten seconds flat.

Then think about how many ways it could be used against students. And also, from that article, the students have to be willing to participate (cause they have to enter a code??) Doesn't that defeat the purpose? They have to be willing to let a device record their location to make sure they don't cut class? The coach that checks in with them seems far better than the gps.

Also, we're relying too much on gadgetry. Better to have someone helping so at least they have someone they can talk to if need be. I agree with your only upside.
Renée: Caprica. Zoe Graystone.rogueslayer452 on February 28th, 2011 03:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not understanding the "willing participant" aspect of the whole program because, kids who ditch school aren't going to be participating in anything that would moderate where they are at all times during the school day. How exactly would that be effective?

While this might just be an experimental period of seeing if this method is worthy of being used, I still don't like the idea being placed into action without saying that they are willing to deal with these kids one-on-one with their problems. Forcing kids to go isn't going to solve anything, and it just might make matters worse or do nothing at all but just ensure they stay in school, which is only half of the battle.
Tinka: Misha Congwaevalarin on February 28th, 2011 03:40 pm (UTC)
Without having really thought it through yet, my gut reaction is: No way!

Yes, it is important that kids don't just skip school on a regular basis. But there have to be other means to make sure of that. And instead of tracking them, I feel it really is more important to find out why they do it in the first place.

Tracking via GPS, no matter if it is kids skipping school or anyone else, just goes too far for my taste. Of course, there are exceptions, if it could potentially save a life, for example. But I don't feel comfortable at all with this being used regularly without a real pressing need to do so.
Renée: Nikita. Live the lie.rogueslayer452 on February 28th, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC)
Those are my sentiments exactly.

I know there are worries and concerns about ways of preventing it from happening, but this seems to be taking the easy route instead of actually dealing with the problem. Making them go to school regularly is only half the equation. I know what I was ditching it wasn't because of the thrill of not getting caught, it was because I hated school. I resented going there every single day for many reasons and once I found a possible out, I did whatever I could to use it.

Tracking kids isn't going to make them like school any better or solve whatever is going on with them. There are other ways of getting to these kids resorting to such tactics which I definitely think is going a little overboard.