Interesting blog post i came across today:
Monday, March 10, 2008
Imagine you’re waiting at the end of your driveway or street, waiting at the bus stop for your eight year old son or daughter to be dropped off. It’s the same routine every Monday, but today the bus drives right by you without stopping. Your first thought is that the bus driver forgot to stop, and so you wait for the break lights to turn on, but the bus turns the corner and is out of sight. As your anxiety increases you call the preschool they go to on Tuesdays and Thursdays, thinking that your child must have forgotten it was Monday; the response you receive is not encouraging, they were not dropped off there. As your breathing quickens you call the school only to be told that your child was seen heading toward the school buses but that no one can say for sure that they got on. You try to tell yourself this isn’t happening as you clumsily dial the bus companies phone number; fear swallows you as you find out your child was not seen on the bus and that no child has been reported to have not been dropped off. After profusely the bus driver to check all the buses, for what seems like hours, your child is found fast asleep in their seat, tucked down where no one can see them. Luckily real danger was escaped?this time….
There’s more, I’d read the article if you have children or care about children .. or get all bent out of shape about the ethics of privacy and tracking.
Public school districts, private bus contractors and private schools, from pre-school through college are entrusted with the most precious resource of our nation, bar none, for up to 10 or 12 hours a day on hundreds and hundreds of days per year.
Children are of course personally extremely precious to their parents and extended family. It goes without saying … or I thought it did until I discovered just how openly hostile many parents are about simple child safety … and forcing accountability of the services they pay for .. either directly or with taxes, year after year.
Children are extremely precious in monetary terms too … you run a business where you fail to deliver the newspaper a subscriber ordered, you have a customer relations problem. You fail to deliver the child of that parent .. and even if the little darling is a monster, you have TV cameras, world-wide blog posts and even expensive law suits on your hands.
Years ago when the earth was still cooling and I started working intimately with GPS tracking technology and its closely related cousin, RFID tracking I though wow! …. what an opportunity. Children go missing all the time. A simple RFID chip on the child’s person, a reader to prove they got on the bus … thus showing when the bus operator took responsibility … a reader to log them in and out of the school building and then keep track of their trip home … cheap, simple, environmentally friendly and oh so reassuring to a parent.
Ha! was I stupid or what? Not only do most school districts shy away from these solutions like the plague (they often use the "no money" excuse, but these systems can pay for themselves), but they seem to actively enjoy the idea of millions of children being at risk and unknown.
I often thought it was me, or my approach that turned people off, but read the references … it’s endemic in our country.
If you send a $15 birthday gift to a grandson, UPS, for their couple-dollar delivery fee tracks their accountability for that nickel-dime package all the way to delivery … but to track the pr3ecious grandchild himself? Heaven forefend. Sad.
Originally posted 2008-03-22 19:39:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter