Protecting Students’ Right to Privacy

As schools are implementing new policies using student photo IDs and digital IDs, there is rising concern that students, parents, and school administrators may not be aware of how these new IDs could make private information accessible to others. The changes in ID use and advances in technology may significantly infringe on students’ privacy rights.

Many schools, from kindergartens to colleges, require that students and personnel wear some form of ID at all times. There are various types of IDs available, including photo IDs on lanyards or clips, cards with radio frequency identification chips (RFIDs), and wearable devices that replace physical badges.

It may seem like schools are simply updating their ID policies and security systems. Using photo IDs provides another layer of protection to help prevent strangers from intruding on school campuses. Digital IDs track who is in attendance and allow students to make various purchases, such as lunches or school supplies. But although new IDs offer convenience, students, parents, and teachers may feel less secure knowing the increase in potential risks.

When a chip is a necessity to students – allowing students to enter dorms or buy food in the cafeteria – some might consider privacy to be jeopardized.

Setting Limits

Schools now are able to gather extensive data about attendees. With new IDs, institutions have access to more student information, such as photo databases, attendance records, and students’ physical locations.  But how much information should schools be allowed to collect about students? Are enough safeguards in place to prevent schools from sharing this information with outside parties?

Some limitations for using new technology are already in place due to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) laws. FERPA laws are designed to keep student information, such as educational records and other student information, private. These laws prohibit third parties from accessing student information.

However, educational institutions are still able disclose certain student information. Schools can disclose information that it deems “not harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed,” according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Photo IDs

Student photos can be considered directory information, according to FERPA Guidance from the US Department of Education. A significant concern among parents is that directory information can be released to outside organizations without parental consent. Sharing this personal information is not considered an invasion of privacy.

Parents and students can choose to notify schools in writing that they wish to opt out of directory information disclosures. The question then becomes whether or not parents and students are aware that personal information may be shared. Are they aware that they have the right to opt out?

Online photo directories can pose problems as well. When student photos are used for IDs, images may be stored in an online directory. While school websites post policies regarding student photo ID usage, there is no guarantee that the policies will be upheld.

Additionally, even though there may be ways to further restrict privacy settings for these photos, students may overlook or not even realize that photos are part of an accessible directory.

Digital IDs

Apple recently developed student IDs that are part of wearable technology. These digital ID chips are stored in i Phones and Apple Watches. According to Edsurge.com, digital IDs will be used this fall at Duke University, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Alabama.

With new ID technology, more information sharing is possible. The tracking used in RFID devices and wearable technology reveals specific student locations. Certain types of chips even have the capacity to gather information during times when students are not in class or even on campus.

The technological capabilities of digital IDs have even more potential for invasion of privacy. This type of data collection could be used to evaluate and predict student patterns and behaviors.  Some feel this closer look into students’ private lives is invasive, unwarranted, and even illegal.

Should every on-campus activity and location pattern be accessible to student institutions or technology companies developing these IDs? Or anyone else? Is an institution-imposed location or monitoring time limit enough to prevent schools – or third party technology developers – from accessing personal information regarding the physical location of each student?

Administrators, parents, and students may be unaware of how personal information could potentially be obtained when implementing new ID policies and procedures. While student safety may be the overarching goal for new photo policies and IDs with digital tracking, students’ rights to privacy and safety could be significantly threatened. Without the proper safeguards in place, photo database use and chip technology can be hazards to protecting student privacy and safety.

 

Resources:

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-06-06-apple-s-new-digital-student-ids-raise-questions-about-security
http://www.naceweb.org/public-policy-and-legal/legal-issues/ferpa-primer-the-basics-and-beyond/
https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/mndirectoryinfo.html

Should Students be Tracked with RFIDs? The Pros & Cons of Location Tracking

There is no debate over whether kids should be kept safe at school. With growing concerns of intruders, shootings, behavioral issues, children bringing weapons to school and other dangers, there is no doubt school districts have to find ways to protect students on campus. However, how far is too far when it comes to school safety precautions?

Some schools have already implemented the use of RFID tags, and the idea of tracking someone’s location is far from new, but should this technology be used to track your kids? This post will cover the pros, cons, ethical concerns and the potential health risks of using chips to track students at school.

First, what is a RFID tag? RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification Device. These chips can be placed in ID cards and clothing and they transmit a unique serial number via radio signal to an electronic reader at the school’s entrance.

What are the pros of using RFIDs to track kids at school?

  • Tracking students’ location on campus aids in safety, because teachers know whether a child has shown up to school or not.
  • Location tracking can save time each morning. Roll call is replaced by technology, which saves time for learning.
  • School funding is based on average daily attendance, and if a child is checked in with their RFID, they’re accounted for and the school will receive funds whether they are in their desk or not.
  • Location tracking can cut down on truancy. This technology makes it harder for kids to “fly under the radar.”

What are the cons of using tracking devices?

  • Many who oppose the use of RFIDs say that they treat kids like cattle, and that they’re unethical.
  • If the chips are not encrypted, it is easy to clone a card and impersonate a student, or to skip school by having a substitute card.
  • Where the use of radio frequency is pervasive, potential health risks are heightened.
  • Those who oppose student tracking say that it is all for financial gain, and that students are no more safe than they’ve ever been.

Some schools have gone as far as adding RFIDs to student clothing. Parents, administrators and other officials may argue that this is a good solution for smaller children, but for middle and high school students it is crossing an ethical line. Also, the tracking chips do not work off campus, they must be within readable distance, so once a child is no longer on campus, they’re not being tracked. For older kids who care about their privacy, this is good, but it has sparked debate about the validity of using RFIDs. Are they REALLY for safety, or for maintaining funding?

As far back as 2004, schools began using tracking chips. Although the use of RFIDs in schools is still uncommon, it’s not new technology and it may become more popular as school violence becomes more common. Many students are already being tracked academically and behaviorally with smartphone apps. As technology continues to quickly evolve, so will the potential loss of privacy. Do you support tracking chips being added to student ID cards?

Resources:
https://www.wired.com/2012/09/rfid-chip-student-monitoring/
https://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/can-schools-require-students-to-wear-tracking-chips/
http://www.teenink.com/opinion/school_college/article/612978/Problems-with-School-IDs/

Designing Name Tags to Improve School Security

America’s public and private schools are protecting students of all ages by continually adding to campus safety measures. One strategy schools are adopting is that of designing name tags that clearly identify students, teachers and faculty members.

Choosing intentional layouts, barcodes, and pictures that are unique to a school helps identify who should be on campus – and who should not. Learn about the many ways you can unify school photo ID badges to improve security on yours or your child’s campus.

Protecting Students of All Ages

The need to address and improve school safety demands the attention of students, parents and the greater community. School violence doesn’t single out a single age group, it touches the lives of students of all ages. States and school districts are focusing their efforts to improve safety for everyone from pre-k and elementary to high school and college. This endemic problem in schools continues to manifest itself in threats, fights, physical attacks and gun violence.

Many schools are taking steps to combat these threats and improve security measures. Decreasing school violence is a multi-faceted effort that includes everything from making sure students have proper supervision to keeping unauthorized visitors from trespassing on campus.

How to Unify School Name Badges

Adding details to the name tags for your school will assist in preventing outsiders from mimicking your design and attempting to get school access with fraudulent badges. These details provide helpful information about the person wearing the badge. Identify everyone on campus by providing their name and a picture on each badge. Designating a specific badge for visitors helps keep unauthorized persons out.

Give badges a unified look with color accents, lanyards and your school logo. Add a vibrant background color that can be seen from a distance. Using your school logo, mascot and colors also promote school spirit. Customize the name tag shape, color, font and size of the text as you choose a design. Each of these critical details distinguishes the look of an individual school’s name tags.

Some schools are adopting the use of security features like barcodes to better track students. Choosing school safety strategies involves weighing factors such as the school budget, potential efficacy of changes and the ability to enact new initiatives.

Improving Identification Policies

Many local level officials are seeking affordable, low-tech solutions. Those concerned about the cost involved in putting new efforts into action may find that changing identification policies could be a place to start.

Updating name tags has a campus-wide reach. Schools may require students, teachers and faculty members to wear designated name tags at all times. Strict adherence to these policies can keep safety at the forefront things.

Name tags help everyone to know the purpose of each person on campus, such as attending classes, working in the student office or visiting. These can also be used to track attendance and assist with learning names and recognizing who belongs to which department at the beginning of the school year. This added precaution helps address concerns about unwanted visitors on campus. As it is also a visual cue, it encourages peace of mind for school attendees as well as parents. 

Choosing Name Tags for Your School

Here is a summary of the ways you can distinguish name tags for your school:

  • Same Color and Style of Lanyard
  • All Horizontal or Vertical
  • Include Barcodes
  • Add School Logo
  • Include Picture
  • Use a Double-Sided Design
  • Require Slipcovers
  • Design with Color Accents (Stripes or Color Background)

Taking steps to keep fear out of the classroom is important. By improving identification policies and procedures on campus, schools can work toward creating a secure atmosphere and unifying the student body.

Evaluating Other Potential Safety Strategies

Schools are utilizing a variety of strategies to help protect students. Some schools require see-through backpacks and uniforms. Some schools are instituting drug checks background checks. Schools are installing metal detectors, security cameras, panic buttons, and even gunshot-detection sensors.

Communities are increasing their efforts to protect their youth. However, determining the best way to fight violence in schools is difficult. While controversial topics such as whether or not to arm teachers or change current legislation dominate the media, schools are tasked with determining what actions they can take immediately.

By starting with small measures that can be instituted right away, schools may be better able to take action now, establish a safe environment and encourage students to focus on learning.

 

The Name Tag Wizard Tackles Back To School! Part 2

New School Year Security Measures Name Tag Wizard Blog
Photo courtesy of www.gazettelive.co.uk

Enjoy our post last week? We decided to take our dedication to outfitting teachers with everything they need to successfully head back to school another step forward. While yes the wizard supplies countless name tags suitable for teachers of any subject – there’s more that we can do! No, the Wizard is unable to cast any protective spells or charms over your school, but he’s still got a few tricks up his sleeves!

In an age where school safety is of the utmost importance, there has never been a better time to re-examine your school security system than before the start of a new year! With parents more concerned than ever about their child’s safety while at school, news outlets, blogs, and countless articles have popped up online with the hopes of steering schools into the right direction when it comes to important safety measures.

So what are some major tips for school’s looking to beef up their security before the school year starts?

1. Visitor Badges

One of the quickest and easiest adjustments for any school to make to keep their property and students safe is to mandate the use of Visitor Name Badges. In fact, many schools already do this, but for those that do not – name badges for visitors ensure that no unauthorized personnel are wandering your halls.

Here at Name Tag Wizard, we manufacture way more than just name tags! One of our latest products to feature is our School Visitor ID Badges. Sold in packs of 25 or 50, these badges are made of a high quality plastic material, come with a lanyard or a bulldog clip, as well as the option to personalize with your school’s logo, mascot, or artwork.

2. Teamwork

One of the best things your school can do to is to form an emergency response team. In the event that something happens at the school, having a group of trained responders can be your best bet when it comes to holding down the fort before backup arrives. The group could be a team of teachers and staff, or even actual law enforcement personnel. Many schools (especially middle schools and high schools) have a resident deputy on campus at all times to handle any official complaints students may wish to register against another student or an adult that goes beyond the ability of a guidance counselor.

3. The Best Offense Is A Good Defense

Ultimately when it comes to protecting your school’s hallways, the best thing to do is to talk to your students. Every year hundreds of schools across the country make it a point to engage with their students with handouts, safety and security protocols, as well as what to be on the lookout for when roaming the halls and listening to idle gossip.

Every school has a full and lengthy list of activities that are not allowed on school campus as well as items that are also prohibited. Make sure your student familiarize themselves with this list and know when to confide in an adult.

Make sure that your staff takes the time to thoroughly inspect your school grounds before the start of a new year!

Add A Little Magic To Your Classroom With Our New Educational Name Tags!

 

the name tag wizard study
Photo By Pranile

Without all the support and help from his many, many professors, the Name Tag Wizard wouldn’t be the confident spell caster he is today. Throughout his educational career, the Wizard spent many nights toiling over his cauldron and perfecting many spells much too complex for our mere mortal minds to comprehend!

It is these days of scholarship and learning have inspired his newest creation – the Educational Name Tag! Employees across the retail and office spectrum sport name tags to ease interaction, but now the trend is catching on in schools. Even daycare franchises with hundreds of employees can afford to get a custom ID tag for everyone on payroll. Discover how the Wizard’s new tags can transform your classroom experiences, whether you run an educational daycare center or manage an entire district of public schools.

Make Students Feel Comfortable

By making name tags a part of the daily routine in your school, you’re making the day easier on the students. It’s most helpful in classrooms with students that struggle with memory or verbal skills, but even graduate students can benefit from a quick reminder of which teacher they’re addressing. A clear visual indicator also encourages students to feel comfortable asking for help when interacting with a teacher they’ve never met before.

Encourage Parents To Interact

Aside from assisting the student during regular class time, name tags also get parents talking to teachers. Hosting a conference day is often tricky because parents feel uncomfortable showing up to discuss their kids when they can’t recall each teacher’s name. Name tags reduce that tension and creates higher attendance rates for these important events. Let parents know the teachers will wear name tags when you send home notes a week or two in advance.

Identify Strangers For Safety

name tag wizard educational name tagsIf students are picked up by parents and caregivers instead of sent home on a bus, using name tags is the best way to keep strangers from leaving with a student without authorization. Students of all ages will quickly learn to only follow tagged staff members and teachers. Even if your staff doesn’t wear the identification on a daily basis, it’s worth the cost to keep name tags on hand for field trips and emergencies. It’s far more affordable to purchase custom name tags than printed t-shirts or safety vests.

Advertise Your Facility

Putting the name of your daycare center, after school program, or summer camp on the tag is an easy way to advertise to other parents. Anyone who sees one of your employees wearing their ID could become a future customer. This benefit obviously isn’t so important for public schools, but it’s helpful for any kind of private educational facility that needs more advertisement.

Educational name tags are inexpensive and easy to order. Your entire staff can be identified and unified within a week when you buy a set of customized name tags. Make an ID the newest addition to the school’s professional dress code so your teachers spend more time focusing on helping students. Our colorful designs add flair to each tag, allowing you to match the artwork to the individual style of your school.

Back to School Special Featuring Our PTA Name Tags!

back to school ptaRemember way back when you were just a lowly 6th grader starting middle school for the first time? Think back before your shiny new car, your snazzy apartment, and that awesome new suit you’ve been wanting for the past month. You gathered your pens, pencils, notebooks, and folders – grabbed your backpack and ran out to meet the bus. You found your friends and did your best not to act nervous or intimidated by the 8th graders who seemed to have everything figured out. You went through your first day of classes with ease and managed to find your friends in the lunchroom after a few nerve-wracking minutes- but “what happened to recess?” you asked and then you were told the horrifying news that recess was gone.

But despite your horror, the teachers around you tried their best to be welcoming and give you everything you would need to know to survive not only your first few weeks, but also the year ahead. And as the weeks passed you realized that there were even more fun events than in elementary school. Plays, bake sales, and talent shows are a common occurrence, and while we were all too young to understand what was going on then, we know now that all of these awesome events were the results of an awesome and organized PTA team.

PTA Meeting name tagsFor over a hundred years, Parent Teacher Associations have made it their mission to better the lives of not just parents and teachers, but mostly the children attending the countless number of schools all over the country. For years they have organized newsletters, countless events and fundraising methods all in the hopes of generating more money to be put back in to the schools for all the tools necessary for success. In today’s world, information and technology are constantly evolving, and as a result things like computers and textbooks become outdated in no time at all. Remember when Pluto was no longer considered a planet? Countless science books across the country that haven’t been replaced still say otherwise.

Getting your own PTA group up and organized can be a challenge. To help you out, the official PTA website has dedicated an entire page to helping you set up and organize your very own PTA organization, and a whole other page designed to give you some awesome fundraising ideas to get you started. Remember to order your name tags! For many years, Name Tag Wizard has worked to bring the very best name tags available.  The start of the school year has already arrived! Need a lot of name tags and need them fast? We’re proud to say that most of our orders ship within one business day of being processed. As an added bonus, if your order is $75 or over your order will ship for free!

So how exactly can we top that? Well to kick off the new school year with a bang, we’ve decided to put together the biggest Back To School Sale we’ve ever had! So from now until September 15th, we are offering a whopping 50% off of all of our PTA name tags! Available in a variety of styles and colors, we’ll help you get your own PTA chapter up and running in no time! Remember to use code PTA50 at the checkout to secure your 50% off discount today!

PTA name tag logo