While there was initially quite an uproar when the Northside School District in Texas recently began using RFID-enabled student ID badges at a middle and a high school to track students’ whereabouts, the commotion has died down considerably. The ones affected the most, students, seem to have accepted the new system.
Some have decorated their badges with stickers or dangle them from Hello Kitty lanyards. Some students said they’re pleased with the faster lunch line. A card reader is now used which means their ID information no longer has to be manually keyed into the system yielding an extra five to 10 minutes for students to eat.
“Some of us don’t like it, or think it was weird at first, but I think it’s teaching us responsibility,” said a 14-year-old student. “We’re over it.”
According to the school district, most parents have also accepted the program. The goals are to boost attendance reporting which will enable officials to know where students are and make campus services more efficient, Northside Superintendent Brian Woods said.
The system counts attendance in the morning and gives administrators the ability to locate a student any time of day. It also keeps an electronic history of each badge, allowing operators to retrace a student’s general movements. It can’t track them off campus.
Both schools soon plan to more strictly enforce students’ obligation to wear the badges. Students can be disciplined for failing to wear the badge. If they lose one, they have to pay $15 to replace it.
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