In San Antonio, Texas, local schools are experiencing such a serious problem with truancy, that they’ve turned to GPS trackers to monitor their students. Some say that asking a student to carry a tracker may be crossing the line, but school officials and parents argue that, “Kids need to be in school. It’s the law.”
The school’s pilot program utilized 25 GPS trackers over the course of 12 weeks to make sure that kids were where they said they were. A local judge that handles truancy cases decides who gets one. Northside I.S.D. spokesperson, Pascual Gonzalez, said, “The students have been going to school,” Gonzalez noted. “It appears to be a very successful pilot and we’re looking to expand it.”
The G-Trac used in the schools features customizable codes that allows the students to send messages to whomever if handling the program. For example, dialing 211 may mean “Leaving campus for lunch,” alerting a school official via e-mail or text message that the student is indeed on track and not actually ditching school. All three districts that use the GPS system, Northside, San Antonio, and Judson, just decided to make this a permanent program and are looking into buying more units.