GPS Kids who keep on skipping school frustrate lots of people like teachers and parents. Now the police and school officials are now deciding to use GPS. The first school in California to test this Global Positioning System was the Anaheim Union High School. Many seventh- and eight-graders that have four unexcused absences or more during the school year have to carry this device. On school days each morning the students who get the GPS get automated call telling them that they have to get to school on time. After that, they have to enter a code five times a day that tracks their location.
When they leave for school, when they arrive at school, at lunchtime, when they leave school and a 8 p. m. they have to type in this code. Also many students are assigned a adult coach that helps them to get to school on time. They also call them three times a week to see if they are all right. The devices are $300- $400 each and the six-week program are cost $8 everyday or $18,000. They are using the GPS is because the students need education and the school loses close to $35 for every absent student there is.
When the GPS started in the school the attendance rate went up from77 percent to 95 percent. If there was no GPS, the kids who continued skipping class or school, they were more likely to join gangs. Now about 75 students in Dale and South junior high schools are deciding to use this pilot program. But now district officials are deciding if they want to expand the GPS program to other high school and junior high schools. Many parents and students came to the Anaheim Family Justice Center to discuss about the GPS with the police and counselors.
But not all parents like the idea. Raphael Garcia who has a 6th grader with six unexcused absences says, “This makes us seem like common criminals. ” The Police Investigator Armando Pardo reminds the parents “They are letting their kids skip school without a valid reason. ” Lots of kids grades 4-6, and their parents had to attend the meeting but they would not be able to carry a GPS, but if they start seeing unnecessary absences, they will be able to get one. The Cruz family, hoping to be able to keep their child at school, they decided to buy a GPS for their son, Juan.
Juan’s has had five unexcused absences and five excused absences. Juan tells Miller (the person who is teaching Juan how to operate the GPS) that “Sometimes I am sick and sometime I just don’t feel like going. ” “I am going to keep it in my pocket so I don’t lose it. If the student loses the device, the parents will be responsible for paying for it. But the devices can be found very easily. Cristina, Juan Cruz’s mom supports this program a lot and is hoping it will help her out. She also says” He is one of six children, and we can’t always keep an eye on him. ” By: Ruby Shah