Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Prisons for those who have committed no crime
right here in Florida
This past summer I started joking around with my young adults who have always been educated at home when passing by a public school that it was a prison for children. The joke took on new meaning when I started slowing down through the "prison" zone once school started. The 3 of them started to say, Mum (with the tone that says OK, we get it, the joke is getting old). Well, listening to the news this morning NPR billed the story with this tag, "Students in Marion County will think twice before skipping school." They went on to tell about the new GPS system that they will be using on students who go to school on the bus through their student ID cards. Can anyone say "House arrest?" or should I say bus arrest? Seems as if my joke is becoming a reality for students in Marion County Florida.
OCALA - A new global positioning satellite system will soon be added to 51 school buses as part of a three-month pilot program to track students and buses and determine other transportation needs in the county.
"The main reason for this is student safety," said Tommy Crosby, Marion County Public Schools' executive director of student services.
The School Board voted Monday night for the new pilot system, which will cost about $50,000 during the trial period.
District spokesman Kevin Christian said the buses would be equipped with student identification card sensors.
When they get on the bus, the sensor will detect the student card, whether it's in a backpack, on a chain or in their pocket, Crosby said.
"If a parent called in and said their child did not get off the bus, we can immediately call up the information," Crosby said.
He added the data will show whether the child got on the bus and where and when they got off.
Among an estimated 400 district buses, 51 will be fitted with the devices, Crosby said. He said routes will be chosen in all four quadrants of the county.
School officials like the concept behind the student tracking system.
To read the rest of the article . . .
Safety is the value trump card that these officials are trying to play. It will be interesting to see if any of these students will do some real homework on the constitution and be able to give sound arguments for why the public school system is their to serve the community not control it. If they really do a good job on their homework they will see that public education ought not to be compulsory but voluntary.
Big Brother is 23 years late. The last part of the article that I gave was "School officials like the concept behind the student tracking system." These officials don't want to educate students but control them. This is not safety, this is part-time imprisonment and they make you pay for your hot lunch. There are still students who graduate either without being able to read or reading at a fourth grade level.
Compulsory attendance was not enough for me to really call these places a prison but I think that GPS tracking system, the same kind used for prisoners under house arrest gives me another leg to stand on.