This month’s lineup of of busybodies includes the University of
Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where administrators may
ban booze in dorms–even for students of legal drinking age
(guess those college kids would just stay dry!). Then there’s
Chi-Town, where officials are using GPS devices to track
food trucks to make sure they don’t wander within 200 feet of
any fixed businesses that sell food, including convenience stores.
Violators could face fines of $2,000. Compare that to the $100 fine
you’d face for parking in front of a fire hydrant and you get an
idea for just how seriously city officials take the threat of
competition. (Good thing the Institute for Justice is on the case.)
But this time the nanny of the month comes to us from deep in
the heart of Texas, where administrators at San Antonio’s Northside
school district are tracking kids with radio frequency
identification chips. Dozens of electronic readers have been
installed in the school’s ceiling panels to keep tabs on the kiddos
while they’re at school. The official number-one reason for
going RFID is to “increase student safety and security,” but–since
district funding goes up when attendance goes up–it’s clearly all
about the Benjamins.
With school-based tracking going back to at least 2004, the Lone
Star State has been something of an RFID trailblazer. In fact,
Northside is considering expanding the program to cover all of the
district’s 97,000 students.
About 80 seconds.
“Nanny of the Month” is written and produced by Ted Balaker.
Opening animation by Meredith Bragg.
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