Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Brave New Schools! Radio Frequency Identification Badges at California School

This comes courtesy of Jeffrey Foxmore.

February 15, 2005

If this "Big Brother" story doesn't send a cold shiver down your American spine... you probably don't have one to begin with.

According to the Associated Press ( a small grade school in the rural town of Sutter, California, "is requiring students to wear radio frequency identification badges that can track their every move. . . . The badges introduced at Brittan Elementary School on Jan. 18 rely on the same radio frequency and scanner technology that companies use to track livestock and product inventory."

Here's how the system works: "Each student is required to wear identification cards around their necks with their picture, name and grade and a wireless transmitter that beams their ID number to a teacher's handheld computer when the child passes under an antenna posted above a classroom door."

Just how bad is this? Well, even the ACLU has taken a break from attacking the Ten Commandments and the Boy Scouts to fight it! Yeah, it's THAT bad. Here's more from the AP story...

"The system was imposed, without parental input, by the school as a way to simplify attendance-taking and potentially reduce vandalism and improve student safety. Principal Earnie Graham hopes to eventually add bar codes to the existing ID's so that students can use them to pay for cafeteria meals and check out library books. But some parents see a system that can monitor their children's movements on campus as something straight out of Orwell."

"Some"? EVERY parent should be blowing a gasket over this. That "some" aren't is indicative of just how far liberty-loving Americanism has sunk thanks to our government indoctrination centers, otherwise known as the public schools.

At least other parents are rightfully protesting this decision in a way that would make John Hancock and Samuel Adams proud, telling their kids not to wear the stinkin' badges. But "Graham, who also serves as the superintendent of the single-school district, told the parents that their children could be disciplined for boycotting the badges - and that he doesn't understand what all their angst is about. 'Sometimes when you are on the cutting edge, you get caught,' Graham said, recounting the angry phone calls and notes he has received from parents."

What a shocker. A government school functionary doesn't understand why "some" parents might be outraged over the government pinning a tracking device on their kids and threatens to "discipline" anybody who dares challenge his authority. You go, King Graham!

OK, let's add some insult to injury here: "What's more, (Graham) says that it is within his power to set rules that promote a positive school environment: If he thinks ID badges will improve things, he says, then badges there will be. 'You know what it comes down to? I believe junior high students want to be stylish. This is not stylish,' he said."

Is this guy REAL? Tracking kids like a herd of cattle promotes a "positive school environment"? Where? North Korea? Cuba? Does this guy actually think opposition to the global positioning of kids is because it isn't "stylish"? What a 'shroom.

Wait, it gets worse. The company which developed the "cattle cards" is PAYING the school several thousand dollars to participate in the "experiment" and has promised a "royalty" (in another day and age we used to call it a "kick-back") for each sale the company makes to OTHER schools in the future.

Yes, plans are in the works to bring this tracking system to a school near YOU!

BRUSHFIRE ALERT: This is one HORRIBLE idea which needs to be nipped in the bud. This experiment doesn't just affect a tiny rural elementary school outside of Sacramento. It has implications for EVERY school in the nation. Worse yet, if this idea takes off on kids, how long do you think it will be before major employers attempt to use it on their workforce?

So please sign our online petition to Principal Graham demanded that he pull the plug on this outrageous experiment IMMEDIATELY. Just go to:

Chuck Muth
Citizen Outreach

In case they remove this information from their web site, here are the school's address and phone numbers:
2340 Pepper Street, Sutter, California 95982
phone (530) 822-5155
fax (530) 822-5143

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