Anaheim School Hands Out GPS Devices to Kids who Skip School

Paul Lilly

Calling in sick to school and then heading to the arcade is getting to be more difficult than ever. First, there aren't many arcades left to begin to with. But even more tricky is the use of GPS tracking. According to an OC Register report , the Anaheim Union High School District is the first in California to pilot the use of GPS to track students who have a history of skipping class.

Any seventh- or eight-grade student with four unexcused absences will be required to carry a GPS device roughly the size of a cell phone. Every morning starts off with the teenager receiving a phone call to remind them they need to get to school on time. That's just the beginning. Five times a day, they're required to enter a code that tracks their location. These would take place when they leave for school, when they arrive, at lunch, when they leave school for the day, and one final time at 8PM.

"The idea is for this not to feel like a punishment but an intervention to help them develop better habits and get to school," said Miller Sylvan, regional director for AIM Truancy Solutions.

This isn't the first time such a system has been put in place. GPS tracking has also been used in places like San Antonio and Baltimore with promising results. While using the device, attendance went up from 77 percent to 95 percent among teens who had been chronically late or absent.

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