Local St. Louis Schools Use Bracelets to Monitor Children at School …And at Home

A local school district will implement a new program where grade school students will be forced to wear bracelets at school and at home so the district can monitor the child’s activity.

Big Brother Is Watching

PARKWAY SCHOOL DISTRICT/SUBMITTED PHOTO Fifth-grader Jennifer McGee and Amy Sydnor, the physical education and health teacher at Ross Elementary School in Creve Coeur, show off a Polar active monitor. (St. Louis Today)

Missouri Education Watchdog
wonders if this controversial policy was ever approved by parents?

St. Louis Today reported:

When is the line crossed between better health and surveillance?

In early 2012, wristwatch-like devices called Polar active monitors will be used by older students in PE classes at all 18 Parkway elementary schools. District officials say the devices should help improve the students’ fitness and academic achievement.

Later this school year, the district plans to collect data about activity levels and even sleep patterns for a week at a time. It will have the students wear the devices round the clock.

Some parents and legal experts are raising privacy concerns about at least that aspect of the program.

The project

Ron Ramspott, coordinator of health, outdoor and physical education for Parkway, said a pilot project started in April provided the monitors during physical education classes to students at Henry and Ross elementary schools. Shenandoah Valley Elementary School in Chesterfield joined the pilot in August.

At the district’s Dec. 7 Board of Education meeting, the board approved expanding the project beyond the pilot phase. For the program starting this year at all elementary schools, the district will target grades four and five initially, Ramspott said.

The monitors measure activity by tracking every movement of the person wearing them. They display steps taken, calories spent and time spent at various levels of activity. An animated figure on the monitor indicates the activity level. A bar shows the target time for doing moderate to vigorous activity and the amount of time achieved at that level.

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  • http://none tommy mc donnell

    what the hell does this have to do with educating someone?

  • wanumba

    They can’t find Bosnia, Egypt, Peru, Oklahoma, on the map, but can find a kid in his home’s bathroom.

  • jhump

    Why can’y they start a project like this with politicians or beaurocrats? They could determine how many calories are expended wasting tax dollars. We’d then know how effortless it is for them to spend other people’s money on a seemingly endless list of irrelevant nonsense.

  • Granny

    #1 January 5, 2012 at 6:20 am
    tommy mc donnell commented:

    what the hell does this have to do with educating someone?

    “Educating” them to believe that it is perfectly OK for some “authority” to monitor their every move around the clock . . . This generation of children will have absolutely NO idea what Freedom of Speech means, because they are taught in every school in the country that “free speech” must not be “offensive” – and there is a NO TOLERANCE policy to enforce that. The same goes for their right to bear arms – even a drawing of a knife or a gun will get them booted from school, sometimes permanently, under NO TOLERANCE. Their lockers, their backpacks and sometimes even their persons are searched often and often without cause. They won’t know what Innocent until Proven Guilty means because they have to prove themselves not guilty of drug abuse by way of drug testing before they are allowed to participate in after school activities.

    Frankly, if my child were in this district I would cut that monitor off them and homeschool. NOBODY has the right to collect that kind of information on a lawful Citizen of the United States of America – even if they are under 18. And neither the parents nor the school district have the the right to either sign away or preemptively usurp the Constitutional Rights those children were born to.

  • jhump

    what the hell does this have to do with educating someone?

    That’s funny. The same thing can be said about the Department of Education

  • Pingback: Public Schools…Fail? « Freedom Is Just Another Word…()

  • donh

    Probably some little spy cam embedded in the device so the Phys Ed perverts can sneak peep. Did Amy Spydor go to Penn State ?

  • Gini

    The parents approved this? I can see a medical doctor needng this information on a specific child due to illness, but to do it to all children simply smacks of bureaucratic control. If my child were involved I would find a way to damage this monitor.

  • RedBeard
  • Conservative Ken

    Now if they would only set webcams around Roosevelt High School so we can see all the gang violence that goes on there.

  • Granny

    #8 January 5, 2012 at 7:09 am
    Gini commented:

    The parents approved this? I can see a medical doctor needng this information on a specific child due to illness, but to do it to all children simply smacks of bureaucratic control. If my child were involved I would find a way to damage this monitor.

    Gini, I am a medical scientist by profession. I’ve raised a disabled child and had a niece that was one of the first patients to be treated with stem cells for leukemia. I do not know of a single disease that would require this kind of monitoring – not one!

  • Remco Kimber

    Simply remove it from the child.

    This is house arrest,

  • Shawn

    They will use the data to take away your kids because you are unfit.

  • RedBeard

    The unfit parents are the ones who willingly go along with this. Frogs in a pot, as the old story goes.

  • Susan T

    I wouldn’t call it house arrest so much as calling it a horrible idea. The way I look at public schools is like this: homework is one thing, but what else my child does after school is certainly not the district’s business. Being a member of a Board of Education in the NE, I’d be appalled if we ever passed this here.

    This certainly infringes on a family’s privacy. Next thing you know, we’ll all have chips implanted under the guise of ‘physical activity.’ HAHA!


    no way in hell would my kid be wearing that….watch for the law suits to fly in 3…2…1…

  • http://pwceducationreform.wordpress.com/ KimS

    Here’s some advice for parents in this district – “Just Say No”! Send a letter to you child’s school Principal and everyone on the leadership team in the district prohibiting your child from participating. Instruct your child not to allow anyone to put the bracelet on his / her arm, and if you child comes home with it after all of that, contact an attorney. It is high time parents start exercising their rights against the state by holding schools accountable and using the courts if our elected officials are unwilling to do so.

  • olm

    I have raised 2 and am on my 3rd but the 3rd is homeschooled. I am more convinced every day that this child will not return to the public brick and mortar school.
    Parents are as brainwashed as the kids. They think that the responsibilty for a majority of a childs needs are met by the school. The neighbor couldn’t believe the school would not teach her kid to read. Reading? who needs reading? Public education is a joke. I am not slamming teachers, I am slamming the incredibly broken system. Unless the system is supposed to be about control and compliance, then it works perfectly.

  • Greg

    How is this different than communicable disease testing in the 40,s in Alabama by withholding antibiotics/placebos to minorities without thier permission to be in a monitoring program.
    Where is the med profession participation in this program.
    Where is the gadget supplier, what freebies are involved.

  • Militant Conservative

    Indoctrination to accept government intrusion.

    Chips are imbedded into all service members.

    RFID chips between the shoulderblades just

    Under the skin. All new passports have them and

    soon so will drivers licences.