🖤 Donations of all sizes power our public service journalism Give Now

Schools using GPS devices to track students

Molly Wood Feb 21, 2011
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Schools using GPS devices to track students

Molly Wood Feb 21, 2011
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Students in the Anaheim Union High School District who have more than three unexcused absences are given a choice: the juvenile justice system or a small device, about the size of a pager or small cell phone equipped with GPS. It’s part of a pilot program that’s already been used in other districts in Baltimore and San Antonio. We talk with Rick Martens, Director of Child Welfare and Attendance for the Anaheim Union High School District.

He says the students are required to report in first thing in the morning to indicate that they’re awake and headed to school. They must then report in throughout the school day, their location tracked by GPS. It’s part of an overall strategy that also includes “mentors” in the community checking in with the kids by phone.

Those mentors are identified, hired, trained, and paid by a Texas company called AIM Truancy Solutions. They also sell the GPS devices to the district. And when a student checks in, the information is not sent to the district, it’s sent to this same private company. Company president Travis Knox, whom we speak with, says they’ve sold devices to over 100 schools so far.

Also in this program, cars being driven with peoples’ minds. Because what could possibly go wrong with that?

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.