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Dallas kids tracked for their own good

No more playing by the ol' water hole

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Tracking children from dawn to dusk might seem extreme, but in Dallas, Texas, it seems to be working to reduce truancy and get more kids graduating.

The New York Times reports on one child who has seen his life turned around by the truancy-court-imposed tracking order, which was imposed as an alternative to detention. Since being forced to carry the tracker, on April 1st, he's turned up to Bryan Adams school on time every day.

We don't know what kind of a school Bryan Adams is, but they've sent 300 kids to the truancy court this year, nine of whom have been fitted out with trackers funded by $26,000 grant. Most of that money goes to pay for a case-officer, and one can't help wondering if the positive results are due to technology, or personnel.

At least the system used in Dallas, provided by NovaTracker, can be removed by the kids. According to the article authorities in Midland, on the other side of the state, are using fixed ankle bracelets to monitor chronically truant children.

In Dallas the kids seem OK with being tracked, though one can't help wondering if our own ankle-biters wouldn't be more creative in GPS-avoidance. Still, once we have Galileo up and running we should be able to track the little darlings right down to their desk chair.

Not that many in the UK are waiting. With mobile phones already offering parents the ability to work out roughly where their children are, childhood might maintain its innocence, but it's still going to be a lot less fun in future. ®

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