Since early 2008 the topic of tracking repeatedly truant students has
been in debate. Some Texas schools have implemented a GPS application
to monitor students who are chronically absent from classes.
This program is designed primarily to mentor and coach the
students, to figure out why they choose not to attend school. The
tracking of the student's whereabouts is used as a backup if the
coaching and mentoring aren't providing the desired results. If a
student's location is in question their counsellor will phone the
student. This tactic is used to hopefully target the real reason the
student is not attending class by encouraging them to discuss their
anxiety at the time.
One reason this program has succeeded
is due to its forward thinking and positive outlook. The GPS monitoring
devices are not fitted to the students via ankle bracelets, as this is
greatly associated with criminals. To promote good relations the
students are given the GPS as a handheld unit, which they must take care
of and remember to bring with them. This method instills a feeling of
responsibility in the student and shows that they are trusted, not
The merits of these programs are berated by some who
think the money is better spent elsewhere. Comments from concerned
citizens range from outrage to commendation. Those who are opposed
beleive that the taxpayer dollars should be used to hire more teachers.
Others say they would like to see more consequences for not graduating
high school, such as laws forbidding non-graduates from obtaining
marriage or drivers licenses. The idea behind these consequences is: if
you aren't smart enough to stay in school, then you aren't smart enough
to drive a car, or enter into a contract of marriage.
childen's futures are held in a precarious position, one mind is that of
sink or swim. While another is to help using the technology available.
Only time will tell which method will prevail.