At the movies instead of pre-algebra?
They're watching you.
The Anaheim Union High School District has decided to track habitual school-skippers Big Brother-style by giving them handheld GPS devices. According to the Orange County Register, seventh and eighth-graders with four or more unexcused absences this school year have been assigned to one of the cell-phone-sized gadgets as part of a six-week voluntary pilot program aimed at keeping kids in school and off the streets.
Each weekday morning, the students in the program get a phone call reminding them to go to school. Then, five times a day--as they leave for school, when they arrive at school, at lunchtime, when they leave school and at 8 p.m--they're required to enter a code that tracks their location.
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Rest assured, the district says. These aren't the same type of satellite-linked trackers clamped to the ankles of sex offenders and Lindsay Lohan.
"We don't want to criminalize the kids . . .," said Miller Sylvan, regional director for AIM Truancy Solutions, the firm helping with the GPS program. "We want the students to be interactive with the device and take steps to let us know where they are. That helps teach them the discipline they need to be responsible."
The GPS devices cost $300 to $400 each. The six-week program, paid for by a state grant, comes out to $18,000. Anaheim is the first in the state to adopt the tactic, but apprently, similar programs in San Antonio and Baltimore have found success.
Could work. Pretty soon, moms will probably want one for their husbands, too.