Have Your Say: Plans for School Kids to Wear Microchips
Just suppose your child comes home from school one day and says that their teacher measured their wrist today.
When you enquire why, your child tells you that the school are going to make all of the children wear a silicone bracelet with a microchip in it.
It is the first time you have heard anything about it.
How do you react?
Swannanoa School in North Canterbury, New Zealand have come under scrutiny from parents and the media this week after it was revealed that they have been planning a new scheme which requires the Primary aged children to wear a microchip.
It is not the first time that the use of technology to monitor students has been explored.
Schools in Texas made teh headlines back in 2012 for installing microchips in student ID cards allowing the whereabouts of the students to be tracked via GPS, and data to be collected about them in an attempt to combat truancy (and increase state funding). Understandably, students felt that being forced to carry these microchips infringed on their rights to privacy.
In contrast, the idea behind the micro-chipping of approximately 250 students between year 1-8 at Swannanoa School is to encourage and track good behaviour. The scheme that the school says will cost in the region of $7,000 to set up would allow teachers with portable scanners to add points to a students online good behaviour chart, with a reward being given when a certain amount were accumulated.
Whilst acting Principal of Swannanoa School, Kate McCelland has confirmed that the proposed silicone wristbands will not have GPS installed (the micro-chip will store the child’s first name, surname, initials, school house, and points accrued) parents have voiced their concerns about their child being treated ‘like grocery items or criminals,’ whilst others felt it was ‘a slippery slope’ in which we relinquish more and more of our rights to privacy. Some parents have threatened to remove their child from the school if the scheme goes ahead.
Facebook users have also questioned whether the $7,000 would be better spent on books and other educational resources.
Have Your Say!
We’d love to know what your take is on this scheme.
How would you react if your child came home from school one day with a letter telling you that the school wanted to implement a similar scheme, where your child was required to wear a microchip to have their good behaviour tracked and rewarded?