ANAHEIM (CBS) — Call it a last-ditch effort to tackle truancy in Orange County.

Two Anaheim schools have become the first in California to adopt GPS tracking to prevent students from cutting class.

KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports on the new voluntary program at Dale and South Middle Schools.

Students with at least four unexcused absences will be given a handheld device with a GPS signal to verify their location, which officials hope will cut down on truancies.

Anaheim School District Director of Safe Schools Rick Martens says participating students would be required to check in electronically five times a day by entering a text message.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (252)
  1. scarecrow says:

    How long will it take for the GPS devices to be handed-off to “friends” so truancy can continue unabated? Just like having one person staying behind at a timeclock to punch out the rest of their crew that left work early.

  2. Danny Milestone says:

    Our education problem is simple. Teachers can not teach as most of them do not understand the subject they are teaching. This is near universal in science and math where our students perform the poorest. When Phys Ed teachers get $100,000 salaries something is very wrong. You do not need any degree to teach Phys Ed. The schools spend money on the wrong things.

  3. Chad says:

    Perhaps they should follow the marijuana crusaders and just legalize truancy. After all, it’s a victimless crime…well, except that the school loses government money. And Wisconsin has shown that that’s what school is all about – funding teachers.

    More seriously, they have to text message 5x a day to verify their location. Considering anyone can send a text message it’d be awfully simple to fake this which naturally makes it useless.

  4. AJnSD says:

    Go to jail? I think jail cost more than a GPS. Obviously, little Johnny has something more interesting to do than attend school. What a scam! What makes anyone think that little Johnny is going to call in if he can’t make it to school? Who is getting rich with this scam? Not you! Maybe, this will create jobs and stimulate the economy. A wish man once said, “They get the milk and we get the cheese”. Johnny recognizes that school is just another jail. It’s pre-jail, let him roam. Cha-Ching!

  5. Don says:

    They need to put GPS on those limp wristed Wisconsin Democrats momma boys that flew the coop like they were in a gang fight.

    1. Andrew says:

      My wrist is particularly limp tonight, handsome.

  6. Nanny Mo says:

    Hey, leave the Truant Students alone! California needs some english speaking kids qualified enough to work at Burger King.

  7. Chris @ Austin says:

    Ha! No way my kid would participate in this garbage. If they made him/her participate I would tell them to leave it in there locker, period.

    They have been doing this for decades. Implementing these crazy, unconstitutional, schemes in the schools. They normalize these activities and as the children mature these move from the schools to society.

    1. Andrew says:

      Is your kid truant?

  8. Michael Sugden says:

    Kids would *never* give the GPS to a friend who was going to stay at school….No, they’d nver think of that….

  9. casey mcconnaughy says:

    I think they should put these tracking devices on Wisconsin teachers.

    1. Andrew says:

      Your original approach to this topic cracks me up.

  10. Dan Colgan says:

    Solution to lousy public schools and teachers. Vouchers to parents to chose schools for their kids and see if the public schools can compete

  11. Elizabeth says:

    I am not an expert on rfid chips, Erewhon, but I have spent
    time researching them. it is not the specifics of how they
    functiom that I am comparing to other systems, it is the
    ultimate outcome. I don’t like the “papers please” society we
    have become.

    I am aware that there are things already in place
    that can tell someone exactly where you have been. cell
    phones, credit cards, etc. I don’t agree with these either.
    that being said, You do not have to own a cell phone or a
    credit card (I don’t). but If a National ID or Internet ID becomes
    reality, You will be required to have one. if the Government
    calls it “voluntary” but then makes it impossible to function
    without it, or penalizes you for not having it, then it is not
    truly voluntary. (Think Social Security, or the TSA in airports.)

    As I said, it’s not where the country is now, although it’s bad enough already, it’s where it’s going.

    I don’t agree with tracking, surveillance, searching, or information
    collecting at all without excellent reason and some proof. I value my privacy
    very highly.

    I know they probably already have a boatload of information on
    most Americans already, but that does not mean I agree that
    they should. Just because something has been accepted by
    society for a while now does not make it right.

    The information I gave comes from what I have read on the
    internet, and several rfid manuals I happen to own. They may be outdated.
    I know the active rfids are not the ones being used for the general
    public, but they could be at some time. It’s not just
    “implanting” them either that worries me. An active rfid may
    not be something implanted, but if you are eventually required
    to carry one it is all the same. It is not really one specific type of
    technology at all, it is the Government’s whole attitude towards
    American citizens’ privacy in general. The patriot act has
    destroyed our country. We are all considered guilty until proven innocent, instead of the
    other way around.

    If there could be complete assurance that this technology would truly be completely voluntary and would remain that way, I would not be so against it. But our
    Government is not trustworthy in these days, so there is no such assurance.

    By the way, thank you for having a mature debate with me on the subject. It’s difficult to do these days due to the amount of trolls that hang out at places like this, although I don’t think any have hit this discussion yet. It’s a nice change.

    1. erewhon says:

      @Elizabeth:

      I guess I can’t see the entire “having to wear/carry an active ID at all times” thing as coming to pass. It’s too over-the-top. Especially given the level of personal intrusion that is going on anyway, without it.

      I wish I could discuss some of the stuff I’ve worked on – it’d curl your hair. RFID aside, they’ve got plenty of data on you anyway, more if they want it, and can place you with reasonable accuracy at will, unless you want to hide out in some disconnected cabin in Montana like Ted Kaczynski. That’s not going to get better, either.

      I see the RFID boogey-man as sort of like the pretty girl in the magic show. It’s a distraction to divert your attention from the magician’s hand under the tablecloth

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I am not an expert on rfid chips, Erewhon, but I have spent
    time researching them. it is not the specifics of how they
    functiom that I am comparing to other systems, it is the
    ultimate outcome. I don’t like the “papers please” society we
    have become.

    I am aware that there are things already in place
    that can tell someone exactly where you have been. cell
    phones, credit cards, etc. I don’t agree with these either.
    that being said, You do not have to own a cell phone or a
    credit card (I don’t). but If a National ID or Internet ID becomes
    reality, You will be required to have one. if the Government
    calls it “voluntary” but then makes it impossible to function
    without it, or penalizes you for not having it, then it is not
    truly voluntary. (Think Social Security, or the TSA in airports.)

    As I said, it’s not where the country is now, it’s where it’s
    going.

    1. Elizabeth says:

      Sorry, it didn’t post the first time and I tried again, only to find that it had showed up.

      1. erewhon says:

        Yeah, that’s happening to me too. Sometimes they just vanish.

      2. Andrew says:

        It’s the really long ones that do that.

  13. Ryan Mouk says:

    Why spend money on GPS tracking when you could just fail the little rats and save a few bucks. If they want to ditch school and fail let them and make room for students who are worth teaching.

    1. Andrew says:

      Schools exist to teach kids. More children equal more money for schools. It’s taxpayers who would save money if there were fewer children to teach. Taxpayers (or those who represent them) must think education is a wise investment.

  14. biff says:

    Maybe we can get some for the 12,000 teachers in WI for their failure to show up to school!?

  15. AJ says:

    ROFl! I’ve already told my kids that if these morons try and put ANYTHING (other than a pen or pencil) in their hands to take it and throw it out in traffic or give it to one of the drug dealers on he corner.

    1. Andrew says:

      Do you really tell your kids to associate with drug dealers?

  16. Teacher too? says:

    Can we put gps trackers on our “sick” teachers in Wisconsin?

  17. Nittnay says:

    Teachers in WI are the ones to need the lojacks

  18. GibsonGuitarGuy says:

    Stupid, wasteful, and rather scary, really. First it’s “Oh, the program is voluntary”. Then it’s one small step to MANDATORY. Do we want to live in this kind of world? Or shall parents teach their children some personal responsibility???

    WHY do you think there were cameras in peoples’ houses in the story “1984”? Because they failed to live as free people must – by being responsible for themselves!!! I’d resist this program, and any like it, until my last breath.

  19. Bluec says:

    How long do you think it will take before kids are paying nerdy kids to carry the baton around.

  20. Homeschool Mom says:

    In this age of the internet, everything anyone wants to know can be found online. I truly believe the reasons schools even exist anymore is because parents need the schools to be a babysitter.

    1. Andrew says:

      Education reduced to information – And, as a homeschooling parent in the age of the internet, do you believe your children benefit from your existence?

      1. Homeschool Mom says:

        Absolutely! I didn’t mean to imply that the internet is the *only* place they can learn. They learn by interacting with interesting people, traveling to interesting places, reading interesting books, experimenting with and engaging in interesting projects and games of their own choosing. I am their facilitator, making sure they get where they want to be, help them look things up when they need help, read to them for hours a day if necessary until they learn to read for themselves, helping them figure out how to earn money to purchase the resources they desire to help them learn.

        One thing that’s always been true, though, is that they have *NEVER* felt they didn’t want to learn. They would resist being institutionalized in the local public school very strongly, but their drive to learn is insatiable. The desire to learn is a flame that exists in every child at birth, and as long as nothing extinguishes that flame, it will continue glowing brightly throughout their lives. School, unfortunately, with all its standardization, testing, and loss of freedom, extinguishes that flame in a lot of children.

        These GPS units are so unnecessary because SCHOOL is so unnecessary. You don’t need to MAKE a child learn. You just need an attentive parent willing to facilitate their learning and make sure nothing extinguishes that flame.

        The GPS units are also akin to chains of slavery. Compulsory attendance in school is akin to slavery. We’ve freed our slaves, we’ve given women equal rights…but we still tell children and teens they must spend all day locked up with people all the same age as them doing what we think they should be doing, and if they try to escape this institutionalization, we want to TRACK them down and make them go back to their prison-school. It’s time to free our children.

      2. Andrew says:

        A lot of neat stuff in there. I am familiar with the principle that children have an innate drive to learn and that educational institutions, failing to recognize this, may in fact stifle the urge.

        Where I break from you is with the preposterous notion that women and men have equal rights in this society. Middle America in its fury over perceived attacks on our constitutional rights would do well to consider gender segregation in public bathrooms and laws requiring women to cover their chests in public.

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