p2pnet view Kids & Kartels:- Big Brother has arrived in Anaheim.
There, “Seventh- and eighth-graders with four unexcused absences or more this school year” have to carry a GPS tracking device, says the Orange County Register, going on >>>
Each morning on schooldays, they get an automated phone call reminding them that they need to get to school on time.
Then, five times a day, they are required to enter a code that tracks their locations – as they leave for school, when they arrive at school, at lunchtime, when they leave school and at 8 p.m.
The students are also assigned an adult coach who calls them at least three times a week to see how they are doing and help them find effective ways to make sure they get to class on time.
Students and parents “volunteer for the monitoring as a way to avoid continuation school or prosecution with a potential stay in juvenile hall”, says the story.
Juvenile hall? For skipping school?
The story has police investigator Armando Pardo reminding parents that “letting kids skip school without a valid reason is, in fact, a crime”.
If the local district attorney “chooses to prosecute, truant students could be sentenced to juvenile hall and parents could face up to a $2,000 fine”, says Pardo.
BUT — “The idea is for this not to feel like a punishment”, the Orange County Register has Miller Sylvan stating.
Sylvan works for AIM Truancy Solutions, a company that’s figured out a way to make money out of kids who skip school.
The spy devices cost $300-$400 each, says the story, going on, “Overall, the six-week program costs about $8 per day for each student, or $18,000.
“The program is paid for by a state grant. Students who routinely skip school are prime candidates to join gangs, police say.”
Adds the story >>>
Hoping to keep their child at Dale Junior High, the Cruz family brought their son, Juan, to get a GPS.
He’s has five excused and five unexcused absences already this year; his recent report card showed his highest grade is a C and he’s failing several classes.
Miller, who showed Juan Cruz, 13, how to operate the device and tried to encourage him, asked why he wasn’t going to school.
“Sometimes I’m sick and, other times, I just don’t feel like going,” he said.
“This will be good,” Miller told Cruz. “You looking forward to it?”
“No,” Juan Cruz said, shaking his head. “I’m going to keep it in my pocket, though, so I don’t lose it.”
Parents will be responsible for paying for lost devices. But Miller said that rarely happens. They are tracking devices and typically can be found immediately.
Juan Cruz’s mom, Cristina, said she supports the program and hopes it helps her son get to school – and stay there.
“I understand that he’s been missing class. He’s one of six children, and we can’t always keep an eye on him,” she said in Spanish. “I think this is a good idea that will help him.”
Expansion into new markets
The Aim Truancy Solutions program was born after “Paul Pottinger, Ph.D, psychologist, partnered with Shelton Stogner, a veteran with over 30 years’ experience in the field of juvenile justice and truancy enforcement”, says the company, adding >>>
In 2005, the pair developed an intensive supervision service that incorporated GPS tracking to keep kids in school. The service’s initial test results exceeded everyone’s expectations and attracted the attention of local officials.
In 2006, Dallas County officials asked for a pilot test within the Dallas Independent School District, which again yielded extraordinary results. The program continued to evolve into the Aim Truancy Solutions program, which is now expanding throughout Texas and throughout the United States. AIM’s success has garnered national media coverage from the CBS Evening News, Fox News, and the New York Times.
With Aim Truancy Solutions rapidly expanding, the company recruited Travis Knox in 2008 to lead the company’s expansion into new markets. Knox, who holds an M.B.A. from Southern Methodist University, was brought on because of his extensive leadership background and over 12 years’ experience working with at-risk youth.
Through 2010, the Aim Truancy Solutions program has expanded into yearlong programs that are currently running in three states and ten markets.
When more and more US jails are run for corporate profit a la Robo Cop, why not this?
Orange County Register – Kids who skip school are tracked by GPS, February 17, 2011
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
World War III will be a global information war with no division between civilian & military participation ~ Marshall McLuhan
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