Sunday, January 15, 2012

Schools ‘spy’ on fat kids
Monitors raise privacy fear

New York Post

Big Brother is joining the battle of the bulge.

A group of Long Island students will soon be wearing controversial electronic monitors that allow school officials to track their physical activity around the clock.

The athletics chair for the Bay Shore schools ordered 10 Polar Active monitors, at $90 a pop, for use starting this spring. The wristwatchlike devices count heartbeats, detect motion and even track students’ sleeping habits in a bid to combat obesity.

The information is displayed on a color-coded screen and gets transmitted to a password-protected Web site that students and educators can access.

TOO FAR, TOO FAST? School aide records a student’s heart rate.
Angel Chevrestt
TOO FAR, TOO FAST? School aide records a student’s heart rate.

The devices are already in use in school districts in St. Louis and South Orange, NJ — and have raised privacy concerns among some parents and observers.

But Ted Nagengast, the Bay Shore athletics chair, said, “It’s a great reinforcement in fighting the obesity epidemic. It tells kids, in real time, ‘Am I active? Am I not active?’ We want to give kids the opportunity to become active.”

The monitors are distributed by Polar Electro, of Lake Success, LI, the US division of a Finland firm...[Full Article]

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Isn't it stupid that electronic devices should take over the role of parents who all too often neglect their children in a way that they don't spend as much time with them as they could? I think no such measures would be needed if they cared more about their children. But unfortunately today's parents don't realize that children need to interact and cooperate with others in order to develop healthy relationships later in life. If this is neglected there really is the threat that children will suffer from some emotional problems or even obesity. That's why I visited as many baby-centers in Toronto as possible when my children were born. I discovered a number of funny ways to build a strong relationship and I always try to spend as much of my free time as possible with them to avoid similar problems in their adolescence.

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