Back-to-school week is a lovely, nostalgic time of year. At least for those who don’t have to actually go back to school. Some parents do contend that it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Everyone but the most hard-bitten can find joy in new school supplies. Pens, notebooks and a brand-spanking new GPS ankle bracelet. Oh, wait. That’s just in Texas. Yup. Students with a history of truancy can be required to wear ankle bracelets with Global Positioning System monitoring in four San Antonio-area school districts. The program is modeled after similar ones in Midland and Dallas.
In North Texas, several schools have installed security systems to scan visitors’ driver’s licenses and cross-reference them against sex offender databases, the Dallas Morning News reported. The company that operates the technology says the system has detected more than 1,100 sex offenders at nearly 5,000 schools. But most were there for legitimate reasons.
“Most are parents, aunts or grandparents,” said Allan Measom, president of Raptor Technologies Inc., told the newspaper. “They have a reason to be there. But this technology allows officials to know who these people are.”
That’s as heartwarming as falling leaves, No. 2 pencils and shiny apples for teachers.
Speaking of teachers, don’t forget to pack your pistol. In the town of Harrold, another North Texas school district is paving the way for a 21st Century education. The school board voted to allow some teachers to carry concealed weapons, something no other school has done, even in Texas.
Schools superintendent David Thweatt told the New York Times that the district had considered several options — tranquilizer guns, beanbag guns, Tasers, Mace and armed security guards, but each was lacking in some way. “We devil-advocated it to death,” Thweatt said. It’s hard to argue with that kind of thoroughness. But many locals are upset, nonetheless. Many say they can’t remember the last violent crime in the small, rural town. Many fear that might change, with teachers packing heat and all.
So, when your youngster complains after two days back to school, about anything, threaten to send them off to, no, not military school, but a much scarier place: Texas.
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