back to article Texan schoolgirl expelled for refusing to wear RFID tag

A plan by a San Antonio school district to continuously monitor its students using RFID has run into legal problems after one of them took a stand against being forced to use the tracking technology. Northside Independent School District (NISD) in San Antonio, Texas has spent over $500,000 on its "Student Locator Project," a …

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$500 000 just to track where a lanyard is? Wonder if they will be interested in these magic beans I have for sale?

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Anonymous Coward

Magic Beans you say

How much mate?

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Boffin

@Martin 47

You should really price what it would take to implement the solution.

God I know I'm just going to get down voted for pointing out the obvious.

Its not just the RFID tags, but the software, the additional hardware, etc ...

It adds up quickly.

I am not saying that I agree with the system, or that its a violation of privacy.

Just that 500K isn't outrageous.

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Re: @Martin 47

Etc. includes consultancy fees and prices marked up well above normal levels.

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Re: @Martin 47

500k sounds like a bargain for a complete school district - according to wiki it has 110 campus locations (100k pupils 6k teachers and 12k staff).

50c lanyard and rfid tag would set you back 60k in costs alone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Magic Beans you say

Magic Beans are the work of Satan - all who trade in them must be stoned!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Martin 47

Ian,

I actually designed just such a system some years ago. It was meant to track the movements of about (IIRC) 1000 people at various locations across a whole country. Its aim was that we would not leave anyone behind in the event of an evacuation following an armed attack against us.

I cannot remember the actual numbers, but I assure you it was nowhere near half a mill. And back then the necessary technology was a lot more expensive than it is nowadays.

Plus, I like to think at least we had a tolerable purpose.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Martin 47

Could be wrong but I don't think Martin47 was talking about the sheer cost, but rather that it's 500k to track not a child, but a lanyard.

If they all leave them in their locker / at home / in the bin then that's 500k to track sweet f.a.

Nd skoolkidz being skoolkidz n dat, dey gonna be swappin dem wiv der m8s from diff skoolz for de lulz.

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Bronze badge

Re: Magic Beans you say

"all who trade in them must be stoned!"

It certainly helps

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Magic Beans

aren't they 3 for a tenner still?

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Anonymous Coward

"The school offered to give her a special lanyard with the RFID tag removed"

Sort out your headline.

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@Ian Michael Gumby. I reckon half a mill is still outrageous.

I worked on a ship where we implimented a personell locator/lone worker system using the motorola UHFs and some badge responders. about 120 compartments wired up to a dedicated machine which displayed where everyone was, and linked into the Man Overboard and General alarms too - most devices had a panic button.

Whole package, hardware, transponders, cabling, and a terminal running some embedded software (OS9, I thihk) - around 20K UKP in the 1990s. We already had the UHFs with lone worker buttons, that was another 12K but was part of the comms package - I could make half-duplex phone calls home from mine.

1980s, I worked in a laboratory where we wore 'lone worker' pendants that called for help if we stopped moving or went horizontal, or pulled the lanyard off.. Around 1.5K total price, for 5 people in 6 spaces.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tracking

>> "I don't think Martin47 was talking about the sheer cost, but rather that it's 500k to track not a child, but a lanyard".

It wonder how long it will be before someone figures this out and, in order to solve this problem, suggests that RFID chips should be implanted into the students instead (purely for the child's own good, of course).

http://www.in-pharmatechnologist.com/Regulatory-Safety/FDA-clears-RFID-chip-for-humans

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Magic Beans you say

Not surprised they are dragging religion into it, my Sis spent "years" on Sumatra in a big ole' compound in the middle of jungly nowhere with her man on a placement, they move with their kids to a Texas city for the next placement, and the only thing the Texan schoolkids wanted to know from the travelling UK kids after their adventures was "what religion are you?" ;)

Proper answer-"Same as you, who do you think you got Independence "from"!

Or possibly "Don''t you want to know about the scary wild animals with the big sharp teeth?" :P

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Holmes

Re: Magic Beans you say

Yep ... definitely am. Why, do you want a toke?

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Re: @Martin 47

That's the point I was making, same as speed cameras, they don't catch speeders, they record the number plate of a speeding vehicle.

Anyway onto more important topics, best offer for my magic beans seems to be a tenner for three, anyone want to better that?

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Re: @Martin 47

These are USAians we're talking about. At least 50k will be soaked up by legal insurance.

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Devil

Re: Magic Beans you say

yes, they are.

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Boffin

@AC ...Re: @Martin 47

The thing I think most are forgetting that its not just to track the student, but also tie in to their cafeteria billing system and other back end systems.

So the cost could include some additional software too.

We don't know.

As to leaving them in their lockers, I would imagine that they track the student entering and leaving the school.

This would suggest NFC not just a contact against a plate. (Think IPASS that your car uses on the toll roads.)

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FAIL

Re: Tracking ... implanted into the students instead

Now, that is a GREAT idea!!!!

But, in order to test it properly, a trial must be conducted. For the members of the trial, I suggest this test group:

1) all state governors,

2) all state legislators,

3) all Congress members (House AND Senate),

4) all members of School Boards that want to utilize such a system for tracking students.

Each test group member shall have the RFID tag firmly jammed up their ass, and a law shall be passed to make it a "imprisonment for life" sentence if the tag gets removed.

Any takers????

Seeing none, then I shall conclude that the trial was a failure.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Martin 47

"...it has 110 campus locations (100k pupils 6K teachers..."

Being the USA, I presume these kilopupils and kiloteachers are extra large examples of the breed?

...or did you mean 'thousand'? in which case why not just put 100 000 and 6000, as writng [or saying] 'K' when you mean 'thousand' makes you sound like a 'kok'

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Mushroom

Re: @Martin 47

I was merely typing quickly. I tend to make a few typos in my posts and I do abbreviate; I imagine I wouldnt get very far submitted to the broadsheets. Plus, being a site with a technical bent even your pedantry got the mean of 100k. Looking at my own post sure, teachers being cooled to 6 kelvin would be a bit extreme (and a magnificent feat of engineering on such as large scale for the cost) but im sure you got the meaning.

Just a point of interest: If you are going to be putting someone down at least make sure your own house is in order. That is (unless) you can explain the meaning of "writng". Oh and apparantly although unorthodox (assuming wiki is correct) using SI standard prefixes is ok for abbreviations. Oddly enough they are usually capitalised. I appologise to all for incorrectly stating 100k when it should have been 100K. I am unsure how many megajubs this would be or if calculating such a figure on students would put you on list 99.

So fuck off.

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Windows

Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

If anyone's bothered to read The Book of Revelations, I don't think magic mushrooms are far off the mark.

Could've been written by L.Ron.Hubbard, or Joseph Smith. We Christians believe Revelation to be Gospel (oops, did it again) but Rom and Joe's books are regarded as a complete joke in Christian circles. Go on, I dare you. Read, but make sure the toilet is free - you'll need it to relieve the jets of laughter that'll come from your bladder.

I have, and I can't believe millions are fooled by these.

Go on, read it. Mop the bathroom floor when you've finished.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

I read the "Book of Mormon" when I was in High School (I won't go into why I embarked on this fool's errand).

A pile of parrot droppings IMHO.

Someone famous claimed to have read the Koran from cover to cover. Apparently a mind-numbing experience of the first order. One is apparently stupider for having read it. YMMV.

However, the King James version of the OT is cracking stuff - a literary cornucopia. Content free of course, but the prose absolutely rocks!

Dweeb

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Dammit

On reading the RSS blurb I thought "yeah, stick it to the system". And then I saw it was about religion.

She really could have left out the superstitious BS. It adds nothing to the argument whatsoever.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

In the classic words of Half Man Half Biscuit

There's no s: it's The Book of Revelation.

See also: Mary Hopkin, she must despair.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

sadly as silly as the religious slant is, you're more the fool for rebuking her right to privacy because you think one of her reasons is stupid.

Ignore the irrelevant and focus on the issue.

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Pirate

Agree, but U.S. courts take that religion stuff seriously. [was: Dammit]

One hopes this is a [cynical] way to bring more attention to the issue -- the more spaghetti* one throws at the wall, the more likely something will stick.

* No offense to FSM, may we be touched by his Noodly Appendage.

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Boffin

Re: Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

Most non-Muslims who think they've "read the Koran" are wrong. Unless they happen to read Arabic, then what they've read is a translation of the Koran. And once translated, it's no longer "the Koran".

This is because (Muslims believe) the text was dictated verbatim to the Prophet, who took it all down in proto-shorthand. Therefore the words of the Koran are God's own words, i.e. perfect. Once translated, it loses that property and becomes mere human words.

There are myths from the early days of the faith, of heathens hearing the divine Words and being converted merely by the sound of them.

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Boffin

Re: Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

I'll second that. One of the few impressive pieces of prose to have come out of a committee.

And, you know, Shakespeare was around at that time, and they didn't co-opt him. Didn't need to. THAT'S how good they were at writing English prose in the first decade of the 1600s...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

If you read the start of the book, it says, "to the seven churches..." It was meant for those familiar with the scriptures already.

Its written using OT imagery. If you aren't familiar with it, you won't understand what's going on. For example, the number "seven" has meaning associated with it beyond just being a counter; the "mark of the beast" is not really going to make sense if you haven't read Exodus where it talks about the "mark of God" being the sign that you have accepted a substitute to die for your sin instead of you. Lots of the book refers back to the book of Daniel where there are some explanations. God's people living in a cubic city makes little sense unless you know that the part of the OT temple where god "resided" was a cubic - i.e. the image is that god's people live without a barrier between them and god. If you haven't read the rest of the OT where God's uses prostitution as an image of how his people have behaved, the hooker of revelation won't mean much to you.

If you want to read revelation, go ahead, but if you haven't read the lexicon which goes before it, don't expect to get much out of it.

Sadly, I suspect the girl at the centre of the row is misinformed. Its nice that she's championing privacy and perhaps "freedom of religion" is the last bastion against being tracked, but its really the wrong argument. Its so wrong and so pop-culture-focused that I suspect its a sham argument being deployed for a good cause.

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Re: Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

laugh all you want, but if you think again, the book of revelation was written 2000yrs ago and if you follow technology, you know such tech is readily available and is widely used in the animal world. See how popular pet owners are tagging their pets? just look at oyster card, your movement can be easily tracked and located.

So how hard is it to implant one into the forehead or right arm of a human being? as far as i know, there is prison already tagging their dwellers.

after 911 and continous terrorism, don't you think governments are keen in tracking human movement, with the mainstream media and finances institutions hence, (a street with a bull mascot) controlled by a certain group of people. dont you think they want to enslave us in a more distreet way? it's not a question whether is it going to happen? But it's a question of when is it going to happen?

foot note: in the book of Revelation, it also mentioned that at end times, the whole world will be able to witness the same incidents simultaneously. you have to ask yourself, in a world that had no electricity, no satelites, no tv, no telephone, who an earth would think in 2000years time, everyone can be able to watch the same news coverage, I wonder where else do you find another book that could provide such revolutionary view??

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dammit

"She really could have left out the superstitious BS"

... on the contrary she played it like a pro. If you want to fight back against the next loony govt scheme in Texas you can't do better than suggesting you're doing it for Jesus (whether you are or whether you aren't) cuts the ground right out from underneath those in power.

In passing really good to hear that things have improved so much in the Texas school system that they've nothing better to spend USD0.5M on than a people-control system - the last I heard their public schools would have shamed a third-world country

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Devil

@AC... Re: Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

You know you could have skipped the torture of reading the 'Book of Mormon' and instead waited for the Broadway show...

Yeah I know its not the same thing... but you get the idea...

The Spawn of Satan Icon, because I know I am going to hell for promoting the guys behind South Park... :-P

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

In fact the Book of Ecclesiasticus is not content free - it has some good stuff on dinner party etiquette and some excellent one liners. I imagine it being written by an urban, and urbane, rabbi with a sophisticated flock, kind of like a 3rd century BC Sidney Smith.

There's also some stuff in there explaining the origins of the present conflicts at the back end of the Med, though it is the Fox News version.

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Re: Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

"Most non-Muslims who think they've "read the Koran" are wrong."

You mean, most non-Muslims who think they've "read the Koran" are considered to be wrong by those who believe it to be more than just a book.

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Thumb Up

Re: Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

"Most non-Muslims who think they've "read the Koran" are wrong."

Love the way that you are factually correct, but got down-voted anyway, just because someone doesn't like religion!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

"I wonder where else do you find another book that could provide such revolutionary view??"

On my bookcase. Take out any old, rambling text and you can read prophesy into it.

"after 911 and continous terrorism"

I hate to break it to America, but 'Continuous' terrorism didn't start at 9/11. You guys were nicely financing the PIRA to bomb this country for a long while before that, for example.

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Unhappy

@Andus McCoatover

"If anyone's bothered to read The Book of Revelations, I don't think magic mushrooms are far off the mark."

The advisors and members of the Cabinet of *several* American presidents have read & believed it as *literal* truth.

Not really someone you'd want near any sort of nuclear release system. It could end in tears.

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Happy

Re: @AC... Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

And they killed Kenny. The b***ards!

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Facepalm

Re: Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

I think it's actually outrageous that this single student protested against the lanyard on religious + privacy grounds. The article doesn't say, but there seems to be the implication that not a single other student (or parent) was ready to contest this abomination on privacy issues alone. I find that quite incredible.

The other thing that surprised me is that teh school didn't back down but effectively threw the kid out. It means that there are hundreds of parents who either don't have the nearest clue of what's going on at their children's school, or they are all happy that their children's location is being tracked

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Re: Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

He's only factually correct if you accept his basic assumption that the Arabic Koran is the divinely dictated word of God. If you don't accept that then is statement moves beyond "factually wrong" and into "meaningless twaddle".

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Re: Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

I've always thought this is an interesting argument. Clearly it is a way to keep control over the 'truth' of the scripture, but it has always struck me that following this logic you should never trust the interpretation of any imam or mullah since those interpretations must necessarily be as flawed as any translation.

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Facepalm

Re: Dammit

".....She really could have left out the superstitious BS. It adds nothing to the argument whatsoever." But it adds plenty to the lawsuits. Septic civil rights laws and all that. It's always fun when those preaching on about civil liberties switch the religion argument in or out depending on the need to drive up the settlement payout.

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Devil

Re: Dammit

"nothing better to spend USD0.5M on than a people-control system"

and

"their public schools would have shamed a third-world country"

I think that shows ongoing causality rather than improvement

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TRT
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Re: Dammit

"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon."

Sounds like my WiFi box and a modem...

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Re: Dammit

Luckily, Louisiana and Mississippi are there to make Texas look almost civilized – oh yeah, and Guatemala!

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Windows

Re: @AC... Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

"You know you could have skipped the torture of reading the 'Book of Mormon' and instead waited for the Broadway show..."

Bet it's nowhere near as funny as the original book. Or, indeed the South Park episode (Dum, Dum,Dum,Dum,Dum,) which was Smart,Smart,Smart,Smart,Smart.

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Thumb Up

Re: Christ (oops!) bloody religion again???

Thanks - must admit I always thought her name was Hopkins.

So I learned something today.

Do do do do do do Waiting for the gift of sound and vision

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