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Truant Students Tracked with GPS

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High school students with a history of skipping class might be required to wear ankle bracelets. And the ACLU is pissed.

Back in the day, if you cut class you might be dragged back to school by a truant officer. That occupation is long gone and has since been replaced with the modern technology of a house arrest-style  bracelet--just like the one Martha Stewart wore. A pilot program in San Antonio Texas, spearheaded by Bexar County Justice of the Peace Linda Penn, will utilize the digital technology as a way to track high school students who have gang affiliations or a history of skipping school and who've shown up her court multiple times.

And it's one fashion accessory kids can't get rid of--the students will be required to wear the ankle bracelets 24/7. The rationale behind the program is the strong link between truancy and criminal activity.

But Terri Burke, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, says forcing kids to wear a GPS raises privacy concerns: "We're all for keeping kids in school--and we applaud any efforts to make that happen--but is that appropriate for the school or courts to know where and what this person is doing outside of school?"

What do you think--is a GPS bracelet a brilliant way to keep teens in school or just another indicator parents have lost control of their kids?

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous August 29, 2008, 1:50 PM

I think that is a great idea. If parents won’t step up to the plate and take care of their kids, someone needs to. Children do not have a right to “privacy” until they are old enough to take responsiblity for themselves.

anonymous(the other one) August 30, 2008, 1:10 AM

Children do need privacy. If you think its a no-no, go open a pornography site with children on it. And why do childrens sites have privacy policy anyway? And if a stranger finds an innocent kid, the child would just babble anything personal including parent’s divorce which is made to be secret and stuff and poof! Your kid is kidnapped. I have the rights to privacy and so does the children. Let me guess, your daddy looks at your sexy breasts when you take your bath in your cr. No to privacy invasion! Get a life! And you can teach your child to be responsible at an early age, too. And teach your kid between the good and the bad, the government is just teaching parents to be potato couches while their kids do the work. Parents were created by god to raise and care their own children, not GPS and GPS is ARTIFICIAL. You can’t have robots as parents because if they’re wet, they’ll be dead. Get outa here child abuser! Texas is just plain ol’ rude when it comes to privacy.

Paula gorbutt  September 2, 2008, 10:22 AM

My child was truent has been to court numerous times and has a tracker, for all the good it’s done, it took the juvenile court system two days to tell me he had cut it off, he would leave and be gone for days and no calls. If your not going to monitor it properly why bother installing it? A scare tactic, I think not, the kids all talk to each other and know the system is flawed, I’m not opposed to them, if your out doing things you shouldn’t then this is just another consequence to your poor action.

Misty Villanueva September 2, 2008, 5:18 PM

I don’t know how this turned into a pornography discussion. That was way off subject. I think this is a good idea for kids that need monitoring. Most of these kids are in gangs so they are already headed down the wrong path and the parents have already lost control. If it cuts down on crime I am all for it!!!

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