Tracking Students: Locator Chips in School Uniforms?

Posted March 28, 2012 by

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What do you think of the idea to use locator chips on your child to track school truancy or alert you to the fact that your child is cutting classes?

In the northeastern part of Sao Paolo, Brazil, grade school students’ uniforms are now equipped with locator chips that alert parents when their child is skipping school or ditching class. The city’s goal is to have every school age child between the age of 4 and 14 at 43,000 public schools to be wearing t-shirts with chips embedded in them by 2013.

The radio frequency chips send a text to parents’ phones when their child enters school for the day — or if they don’t arrive at school 20 minutes after classes have begun. After a child skips school three times, parents have to explain their absence.

The chips in the “intelligent uniforms” are similar to the ones that track pets.

What do you think? Is this a brilliant idea that will help parents keep track of their kids, or is it a little too “Big Brother” for you? And what would you say if your child’s school started requiring intelligent uniforms?


Elisabeth Wilkins was the editor of Empowering Parents and the mother of an 10-year-old son. Her work has appeared in national and international publications, including Mothering, Motherhood (Singapore), Hausfrau, The Bad Mother Chronicles, and The Japan Times. Elisabeth holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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