Tag Archives: rfid in schools

RFID in NISD Battle Finally Comes to an End

Over the past year or so, we’ve followed the Northside Independent School District (NISD) in San Antonio, TX implement an RFID student tracking system, and even saw a student get expelled over not wanting to participate in it.

Now, the school has decided to stop using the RFID system all together. The NISD stated that the negative publicity regarding the expelled student had nothing to do with getting rid of the RFID system. The pilot RFID student tracking system didn’t help in cutting truancy and created a lot of extra work for teachers in tracking “missing” students.

“We’re very confident we can still maintain a safe and secure school because of the 200 cameras that are installed at John Jay High School and the 100 that are installed at Jones Middle School. Plus we are upgrading those surveillance systems to high-definition and more sophisticated cameras. So there will be a surveillance-camera umbrella around both schools,” said NISD spokesman Pascual Gonzalez.

Andrea Hernandez, the student who sued the school district for enforcing RFID-enabled student ID’s, and her family are very pleased with the NISD’s decision. “This decision by Texas school officials to end the student locator program is proof that change is possible if Americans care enough to take a stand and make their discontent heard,” said her attorney, John Whitehead.

While we hate to see an RFID solution not work out, perhaps this is for the best. Did the NISD make the right decision in discontinuing the use of RFID student ID’s? Share your thoughts by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.

Student Expelled Over RFID

In the spring of 2012, we discussed how the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, TX planned on implementing RFID-enabled student IDs to keep track of students’ location throughout the school day.

Then, at the start of 2013, we discovered that one student, Andrea Hernnandez, sued the school district because of the RFID badges, claiming the badge conflicted with her religious beliefs. Although it was decided that Hernandez must wear an ID badge, but it did not have to be RFID enabled, she rejected the offer.

Now, Hernandez must face the consequences—expulsion. Despite being allowed to wear a badge without an RFID chip, Hernandez still believes the mandatory badge rule to be immoral.

Despite this, the Northside Independent School District plans to expand the RFID ID badge program to all of the students in the district. However, this doesn’t mean the end of schooling for Hernandez.

Three Texas legislators are proposing a bill to ban RFID in schools. Rep. Lois Kolkhorst stated, “I am concerned that this technology can be very dehumanizing. I really don’t like how parents don’t have much input and think it is an example of government overstepping its bounds.”

What do you think—should RFID in schools be banned, or promoted? Share your thoughts by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.

RFID Used in Texas Schools

Previously, we discussed how schools in New Canaan, CT and Contra Costa County, CA were going to implement RFID in their schools to keep track of students. Now, school districts in Texas have jumped onto the RFID band-wagon by monitoring students throughout campus.

Specifically, the Spring school district in Houston, TX recently distributed RFID-enabled badges to approximately 13,500 of its students, and the nearby Santa Fe school district has also begun an implementation. Officials claim that the RFID system will improve security and increase attendance rates, but what about privacy?

Are students entitled to a certain amount of privacy? Is RFID being too big brother? What about students that are too young to understand the implications of the technology? While attendance is important because it correlates to the amount of funding that is relegated, is RFID the answer?
Let us know how you feel about implementing RFID in schools by commenting here, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

Still confused as to how RFID works? Learn more here.

RFID in Preschools?

Recently, we discussed the potential use of RFID chips with high-schoolers in New Caanan, Connecticut. Now, school officials in Contra Costa County, CA have decided to test RFID tracking on preschoolers with a federal grant that they received.

During school hours, students will wear an RFID jersey that tracks their movement and collects data, such as whether or not the child has eaten. The idea is that RFID tracking will save costs, since teachers used to have to manually keep track of attendance and meal schedules.

In fact, with the RFID chips, every movement the child makes is capable of being tracked. Unlike with high-schoolers, preschoolers won’t be able to understand the implications and ramifications of the study. Personally, I’m wondering what say parents will have in their child’s participation.

Let us know what you think about tracking preschoolers with RFID by commenting here, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

If you’re still confused about what exactly RFID technology is, learn more here.

Connecticut Schools Looking to Track Students via RFID

Public schools in New Canaan, Connecticut are considering using RFID technology to track students after being invited to participate in a technology experiment. Basically, student and/or staff ID cards, or school items such as laptops would be adorned with RFID strips for security and efficiency purposes.

The school district was recently approached by SecureRF Corporation, a company that is interested in examining uses for RF technology in schools and other commercial verticals. The company is proposing to implement a pilot program at New Canaan High School, where they hope to receive feedback in order to determine if RFID technology is a viable application in a school setting.

The primary feature of the experiment is being able to track individuals within the school, which could prove to helpful, particularly in emergency situations. In addition, administration could monitor who is coming and going within the campus. Additionally, there is discussion to bring the RFID strips to buses, providing the district with better information as to who is actually riding the school bus. In turn, this information could reduce costs.

Since the program is still in experimental stages, students’ involvement would be voluntary. While some parents would be a bit suspicious of the technology, others would appreciate the safety that it brings. RFID strips on student ID’s seems like a safe way to track students, without being too intrusive, as with RFID implants. What do you think? Should New Canaan participate in this RFID experiment for the greater good of the technology and their students, or should they not participate? Share your thoughts by commenting here, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

If you’re still uncertain about how RFID technology works, learn more here.